The Office of Global Criminal Justice (GCJ) – led by the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice – advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. In particular, the Office helps formulate U.S. policy on the prevention of, responses to, and accountability for mass atrocities in order to implement the directive in the 2017 National Security Strategy to “not remain silent in the face of evil” and to “hold perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities accountable.” To this end, GCJ advises U.S. Government and foreign governments on the appropriate use of a wide range of transitional justice mechanisms, including truth and reconciliation commissions, lustrations, and reparations, in addition to judicial processes.
GCJ coordinates U.S. Government positions relating to the international and hybrid courts currently prosecuting persons responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – not only for such crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia – but also in the Central African Republic, Guatemala, and elsewhere in the world. The Office works closely with other governments, international institutions, and nongovernmental organizations to establish and assist international and domestic commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions, and tribunals to investigate, document, and prosecute atrocities in every region of the globe. The Office coordinates the deployment of a range of diplomatic, legal, economic, military, and intelligence tools to help expose the truth, judge those responsible, protect and assist victims, enable reconciliation, deter atrocities, and build the rule of law.
GCJ provides advice and expertise on transitional justice, including ways to ensure justice and accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, as well as other grave human rights violations. The Office supports U.S. diplomats operating in conflict and post-conflict scenarios by providing subject matter expertise regarding atrocity crimes. It is also the point of contact for international, hybrid, and mixed tribunals exercising jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed around the world. The Office is also responsible for implementing the War Crimes Rewards Program that provides rewards to people who provide information leading to the capture and conviction of indicted war criminals. Finally, the Office participates in the Atrocity Early Warning Task Force, which coordinates U.S. government efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to atrocities.