Biography

Olivier Bercault specializes in armed conflicts, refugee issues and international criminal prosecutions. He served in the emergencies program at Human Rights Watch (HRW) and conducted research missions in numerous conflict areas: Eastern Chad, Darfur, Central African Republic, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka among others. During that period, he investigated and documented widespread and serious abuses committed by governmental forces, rebel and other armed groups. His research on war crimes, child forced recruitment and crimes against humanity ended up at the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council. Olivier Bercault is currently consultant for HRW on the case against Hissein Habré, the international prosecution of former Chad dictator. HRW published recently his book “La Plaine Des Morts” (The Plain of the Dead), a study indicating Habré’s personal implication in the massive human rights violations in Chad during his rule. Olivier Bercault also served as deputy-head of the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) where he directed the reporting effort of the UN regarding abuses committed in this country. Olivier Bercault practiced law previously in his native France and then worked for the Moscow Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Russian Federation. Mr. Bercault holds an LL.M. from Columbia Law School in New York as well as a degree in Private Law from the University of Paris.