The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) has today made available the dataset from the 2016 research report entitled “Echoes of Testimonies: A Pilot Study into the long-term impact of bearing witness before the ICTY”. The study was conducted by the Victims and Witness Section (VWS) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Castleberry Peace Institute of the University of North Texas (UNT).
Between 2013 and 2015, the VWS of the ICTY conducted in-person interviews with 300 fact witnesses, hailing from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia in order to examine the impact of their testimonies before the ICTY on their long-term well-being.
This dataset includes, inter alia, information on the demographics of witnesses and their reasons for testifying before the ICTY, the socio-economic impact of testifying, their security concerns, witnesses’ physical and psychological well-being and their perceptions about justice and the ICTY. All data provided has been made anonymous in order to protect the identities of witnesses included in the pilot study.
By making this information available to all, the Mechanism’s Witness Support and Protection Unit aims to increase recognition of the importance of supporting witnesses who testify before international criminal tribunals, and encourage further research and development in this field. Furthermore, by enabling researchers to replicate, validate, confirm or challenge the findings of the pilot study on the basis of the dataset, the Mechanism also aims to increase the study’s transparency and bolster its scientific integrity.