Freedom from Violence has a broad research agenda. The essential contention is that a human-rights based approach, with robust accountability mechanisms that take seriously the role that accountability has in structural reform—can reinforce and be reinforced by systemic review and developmental approaches to violence reduction.

In addition to this, the initiative also comprises research expertise originating from its human rights background. It remains interested in questions of accountability mechanisms (especially commissions of inquiry) and the role of investigations (and the Minnesota Protocol) in securing the right to life. Its researchers are actively engaged in international collaborations linked to the use of force under international law, including the use of new weapons technology, and to thematic questions such as the use of force in counter-poaching