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Seminar: Asset Recovery at the Intersection of International Law on Criminal Justice and Human Rights

  • When
  • March 16, 2018
    5:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (EDT)
  • Where
  • Open Society Foundations–Washington, D.C.
    1730 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 7th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006
    United States of America
  • Speakers
  • Alisher Ilkhamov, Alex Johnson, Ayuush Bat-Erdene, Allison Gill, Kristian Lasslett, Richard Messick, Patrick Mutzenberg, Juanita Olaya, Peter Zalmayev, and Katherine Wilkins

According to the World Bank and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, $20–40 billion is stolen from various countries due to corruption each year, yet only $2.6 billion has to date been frozen in so-called “destination” countries, and only $423.5 million has been returned to countries of origin. One of the many challenges in asset recovery is not just in returning stolen assets, but in determining the conditions under which assets should be returned.

The Open Society Foundations, in collaboration with other civil society partners, will host several discussions that will review asset recovery in the context of human rights and anticorruption. We will explore how these legal frameworks could facilitate restitution to victims of corruption, particularly in regards to refining the relationships between asset-holding countries and asset-origin countries. A case study of modalities for the return of assets to Uzbekistan will be explored. 

Please join us for this unique opportunity. This half-day seminar is open to the public and lunch will be served.


Session I: Asset Recovery as an Issue for International Justice—Complementarity of International Laws on Human Rights and Anticorruption  

  • Victims of corruption as an intersectional concept and its articulation in international law
  • Identifying new strategies and concepts to address the issue of corruption before UN Treaty Bodies, particularly the HR and ESCR Committees
  • Complementarity of international laws on human rights and criminal justice in respect to asset recovery

Lunch Break

Session II: Management of Assets Recovery—The Role of Facilitator in Ensuring Human Rights and Rule of Law Accountability

  • The role of asset-holding states and international organizations in ensuring accountability in asset recovery and return
  • Case examples
  • What would make it possible to ensure restitution for victims and what steps must be taken by civil society and by western institutions?


  • Alisher Ilkhamov


    Alisher Ilkhamov is a program officer for the Eurasia Program at the Open Society Foundations–London.

  • Alex Johnson


    Until February 2019, Alex T. Johnson was the senior policy advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations in Washington, D.C.

  • Ayuush Bat-Erdene


    Ayuush Bat-Erdene is chief of the Right to Development Section in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • Allison Gill


    Allison Gill is a human rights consultant and an associate of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights.

  • Kristian Lasslett


    Kristian Lasslett is a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Ulster and executive board member of the International State Crime Initiative.

  • Richard Messick


    Richard Messick is the former senior public sector specialist in the Public Sector and Governance Group–World Bank.

  • Patrick Mutzenberg


    Patrick Mutzenberg is director of the Centre for Civil and Political Rights, Geneva.

  • Juanita Olaya


    Juanita Olaya is chairperson of UNCAC Coalition, Germany.

  • Peter Zalmayev


    Peter Zalmayev is director of the Eurasia Democracy Initiative.

  • Katherine Wilkins


    Katherine Wilkins is a program specialist for the Eurasia Program at the Open Society Institute–Budapest.

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