Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program


4.1. Conclusions

4.1.1. Program Relevance

  • 1. Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program remains relevant as an expressed policy and priority of the Government of Canada and to meeting Canada's international legal obligations. It also remains relevant to meeting the expressed needs of international partner agencies and external stakeholders in Canada.
  • 2. The geographic patterns of continued international conflicts and of immigration to Canada, along with allegations arising from older conflicts, indicate that the Program will be required to continue to deal with a significant volume of allegations.

4.1.2. Program Design and Delivery

Governance and Policy

3. The changes in governance structure introduced during the evaluation period, including the establishment of the War Crimes Steering Committee, the Program Coordination and Operations Committee and its File Review Sub-Committee, have contributed to a more cohesive and coordinated program. These changes have contributed to clearer guidance on resource allocation, clearer definitions of departmental roles and responsibilities, and more rigorous criteria for assigning cases to different remedies.

Partnership and Integration
  • 4. The Program has established effective formal and informal partnerships with other federal government departments and agencies. Relations between DFAIT and the Program are characterized by most interviewees as effective despite some disagreements on the specific issue of denying entry to some former officials of designated regimes.
  • 5. The Program has been highly effective in developing and maintaining partnerships with international organizations and with similar programs in other countries.
  • 6. Program organizational units and processes have been reasonably well integrated into other border management initiatives relating to organized crime and counter-terrorism, especially but not exclusively, at regional offices and posts abroad.
Coordination, Allegation Management and Service Delivery
  • 7. The single most important improvement in program management and service delivery has been felt in the area of interdepartmental coordination. This improved coordination has contributed to more efficient and effective management of allegations, principally through more effective interdepartmental cooperation during investigations, more efficient screening and file review processes, and better prioritization of applicable remedies.
  • 8. The Program faces important challenges in improving the adequacy and frequency of training, most critically for staff newly assigned to front-line positions in the regions and in posts abroad, and in upgrading and updating computerized databases.
Raising Awareness and Knowledge

9. The Program and its activities have made an important contribution to raising the profile of international efforts to deal effectively with crimes against humanity and war crimes. They have also raised awareness of the Program within the international community of war crimes experts. There is, however, a strong consensus among stakeholders at all levels of the need for more intensive awareness building and communication activities in Canada.

Gathering and Using Performance Monitoring Data

10. While the program departments do use basic performance data on outcomes to guide policy and manage program activities, there are gaps in the performance monitoring system relating to education and outreach and awareness-raising activities.

4.1.3. Program Success

International Leadership and Meeting International Obligations
  • 11. The Program continues to demonstrate Canada's global leadership role in dealing with crimes against humanity and war crimes mainly through its engagement in international cooperation; its support of international institutions; its robust legislative framework; its attention to meeting Canada's international legal obligations with regard to crimes against humanity and war crimes; and the very existence of an integrated, interdepartmental program.
  • 12. As already noted, the Program has been effective in meeting Canada's international legal obligations with regard to crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Meeting the Objectives of the Program and the Policy
  • 13. It is impossible to demonstrate with certainty that the Program has been effective in deterring entry into Canada of those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • 14. The combination of quantitative results data and inputs from stakeholders in Canada and abroad supports the conclusion that the Program makes a significant contribution to achieving the national objective of denying safe haven. At the same time, the limited resources available to the RCMP War Crimes Section for investigating these cases represent an important limitation on the Program's contribution to the objective.

4.1.4. Cost Effectiveness and Alternatives

Policies and Processes Contributing to Cost Effectiveness
  • 15. Policy decisions and adjustments to file review criteria (placing greater priority on immigration remedies without denying the need for revocation of citizenship and criminal prosecution where they are warranted) reflect an appropriate balance between the desire to achieve the most cost-effective solutions and the need to maintain the integrity of the Program in addressing the no safe haven policy. This conclusion is even more apparent given the wide differential among the comparative costs of different remedies (and of different scenarios within a given remedy).
  • 16. One factor contributing to costs for some remedies is the fact that more than one remedy is usually pursued at one time and the branching into a final remedy may occur quite late in the process. These costs argue for making the decision on a definitive remedy as early in the process as possible.
Alternative Program Structures
  • 17. There is no indication that independent delivery of program services by the four departments acting outside the framework of an integrated program would be a more cost effective alternative. In fact, any gains through a small (theoretical) cost savings would be more than offset by diminished program effectiveness through loss of cohesion and poor coordination.
  • 18. There is considerable evidence that the Program will require increased financial resources if it is to be effective in addressing the no safe haven policy in the future.

4.2. Recommendations and Management Response

4.2.1. Introduction

The evaluation supports the continuation of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program. It also found that the interdepartmental model is effective and should be maintained, and all four participating departments remain relevant partners in the Program.

While the coordination and delivery of the Program has seen an increase in efficiency and effectiveness since the last evaluation in 2001, there remain areas for improvement. This section discusses four issues arising from the evaluation and provides five recommendations. It also contains the management response to these recommendations, which has been prepared by the PCOC.

4.2.2. Issues

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