Office of the Prosecutor General Held an Event Dedicated to Psychological Resilience of Prosecutors Investigating International and War Crimes

On 20 December, EU Project Pravo-Justice, together with JustGroup and the Office of the Prosecutor General, held an event entitled “Psychological Resilience as a Factor of Work Efficiency”. The representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor General and regional prosecutors investigating international crimes and war crimes attended the event.

During the event, the JustGroup expert team presented a holistic approach to developing the psychological resilience of the human capital within the infrastructure for combating crimes committed in the context of armed conflict. It was produced with the support of EU Project Pravo-Justice.

“The implementation of this approach, in particular, will make it possible to work out the urgent need to deal with the psycho-emotional state of prosecutors, as well as to build mechanisms to prevent the consequences of long-term work in a potentially traumatic context and prevent their impact on the performance,” said Vasylyna Yavorska, JustGroup Leader.

In her turn, Oksana Tsymbrivska, Country Manager of EU Project Pravo-Justice, emphasized that the challenges of wartime that befell, including, on the employees of the public prosecution system, especially in the front-line regions, may also result in professional burnout. Therefore, according to her, the need to take care of the mental health of those employees was urgent, because it was they who had a significant role in the process of bringing to justice those guilty of war crimes.

“We clearly understand that having comprehensive and institutionalised support for prosecutors’ resilience is one of the factors that are crucial to succeeding in restoring justice. That is why it was essential for us to support the Office of the Prosecutor General not only in legal matters but also in drawing up the Holistic Approach to Developing Prosecutors’ Psychological Resilience. Today, we have a methodology and a roadmap for implementing this approach, and we will continue supporting the Office of the Prosecutor General in further systematic activities to implement it,” said Oksana Tsymbrivska, Country Manager of EU Project Pravo-Justice.

Andrii Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, also participated in the event. He thanked international partners for the idea and initiative to support prosecutors’ psychological resilience. He said cooperation with professionals would help them preserve their teams’ resources and facilitate quick recovery. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on their performance.

“We are all humans, and of course, the situations and crimes that prosecutors deal with almost every day will have consequences. Therefore, even today, we must clearly understand how to protect people so that they do not run out of resources and can continue working. It is equally important to be happy people after Ukraine wins,” said Andrii Kostin.

Yurii Bielousov, Head of the Department for Combating Crimes in Conditions of Armed Conflict, Office of the Prosecutor General, also intervened during the presentation. He emphasized, in particular, that the Holistic Approach to Developing Prosecutors’ Psychological Resilience was also aimed at maintaining the team.

“For me, it is a question of survival and preservation of the team, in the first place, because when a person cannot stand it anymore and leaves the system, the burden on those, who remain, increases. This is not an option; therefore it is necessary to work with professionals in this area here and now. This not about weakness, but about additional protection of us,” emphasised Yurii Bilousov.

At the end of the event, Oksana Tsymbrivska, Country Manager of EU Project Pravo-Justice, also drew attention to the need to scale up the pilot project.

“We see this methodology as something that should be replicated in the future for other justice system bodies and professions. First of all, we are talking about employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but it is also relevant for court employees,” summarized Country Manager of EU Project Pravo-Justice.