Yemen Accountability Project

Tank driving near destroyed buildings

The Yemen Accountability Project (YAP), a student-led organization at CWRU, documents and analyzes war crimes and crimes against humanity (CAH) that have occurred during Yemen’s ongoing civil war. YAP partners with the Public International Law & Policy Group and is a part of the Global Accountability Network, working alongside the Syrian Accountability Project and the Venezuelan Accountability Project.

About the Yemen Accountability Project

The Yemen Accountability Project (YAP) was founded in 2018 as a cooperative effort between legal scholars, non-governmental organizations, students, and other interested parties. The project’s members investigate and analyze open-source materials covering the Yemeni Civil War. Once the documentation is synthesized, the YAP team catalogs the information relative to applicable bodies of law, including the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Yemeni Penal Law, and other relevant treaties of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Customary International Law (CIL). With this analytical base, YAP creates documentation products in a narrative and graphical format, as well as a trend analyses of ongoing crimes.

In Sept. 2020, YAP published its white paper, “Aiding and Abetting: Holding States, Corporations, and Individuals Accountable for War Crimes in Yemen” that explores the atrocities that have led to the loss of over 100,000 lives since 2015 and offers policy proposals for accountability actions.

In April 2021, YAP published its second white paper, "Starvation: Building the Case for Prosecuting Starvation Crimes in Yemen," which aims to assist prosecutors in bringing accountability to the perpetrators that used starvation as a method of warfare in Yemen.

In Jan. 2023, YAP published its third white paper, "Cultural Property: Building the Case for Prosecuting the Destruction of Cultural Property in Yemen," which puts forth the legal framework for prosecuting perpetrators of attacks on Yemen's centuries-old cultural property and UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the Yemen Conflict.

In June 2023, YAP published its fourth white paper, “The Yemen Civil War's Toll on Children" which documents the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law violations during the conflict related to the children of Yemen.

In April 2024, YAP published its fifth white paper, "Gender Based Violence and the Yemen Civil War," which concerns the failure of Yemen Civil War actors to refrain from engaging in, as well as to prevent, punish and investigate instances of gender-based violence. 

Prof. James C. Johnson

James C. Johnson, YAP’s project advisor, is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of the Henry T. King War Crimes Research Office at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Professor Johnson was named Prosecutor of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2019 after having served as Chief of Prosecutions for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In that role, he was involved in the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Professor Johnson has worked with students to prepare research memoranda for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Military Commissions for Prosecution of Al Qaeda Terrorists, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Interpol. He is also Director of the International Humanitarian Law Roundtable and Managing Director of Justice Consultancy International, LLC. He is retired from the U.S. Army where he served 20 years as a Judge Advocate.