Francesca Lessa is one of Highly Commended awardees of the O²RB Excellence in Impact Awards 2021

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Dr Francesca Lessa (Oxford Department of International Development and Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford) is one of the Highly Commended awardees of the O²RB Excellence in Impact Awards 2021. Her research project "Operation Condor" was highly commended by the judges in the O²RB Excellence in Impact Awards 2021 for improving routes to justice for victims of transnational human rights violations in South America.  

Francesca's project achieved significant impact because, from the start, it placed collaboration with relevant stakeholders – including judicial actors, policymakers, journalists, and civil society – at the heart of the research. Amongst the main achievements, the project contributed to shaping the results of domestic and international trials for transnational atrocities by innovatively systematising information on victims and judicialization in a novel database subsequently used by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; submitting an expert witness statement on behalf of victims in a legal case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; and transmitting newly declassified documents to Italian lawyers who employed them to overturn acquittals and file new indictment requests about transnational crimes in South America. Further, Francesca helped expanding and enriching existing knowledge about Operation Condor by holding three knowledge exchange activities in South America with participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay and releasing two policy briefs; and through collaborating with Italian and British journalists to reach out to the public, engaging 350,000+ people regarding past atrocities in South America. 

You can learn more about Francesca's project here.