“This meeting is not important to us. We need to hear only results from the trial. This trial has been ongoing for so long. It should end soon so that we can get compensation for the harm we suffered.”Perceivably, this attitude arises from the lack of direct involvement in the case as well as the protracted trial process which commenced in July 2011. The legal entitlements encapsulated in the various statutes providing for participation of victims are at risk of being rendered meaningless if these concerns are not addressed. The fact that victims keep suffering from the conflict’s aftermath (orphans unattended for, physical and mental impairments, etc.) only adds to the risk of diminishing the worth of legal proceedings to their eyes, as they are no longer seen as likely to improve the victims’ current condition. While an important complement to truth seeking and justice efforts, interim measures, projects and interventions by both government and non-government actors have either beeninsufficient or ineffective in meeting the victims’ most basic needs. Besides, whereas the call for accountability is resounding in many victims’ communities, there concerns towards reparations are also consistently brought up: whowill receive reparation, who will pay them and what form will these reparations take? Beyond legal entitlements, criminal processes can only achieve restorative and healing functions if perceived as meaningful by victims and their communities.In the instant case, this can be done by:
- Ensuring constant and meaningful interaction between the victims and their legal counsels, since the latter ensure their participation in the trial.
- Managing victims’ expectations regarding participation in the trial and ensuring that victims understand the scope of their own agency in the justice process before the ICD: this also implies for the ICD and the Government of Uganda to clarify some relevant aspects of victim participation, suchas their right to reparation.
- Promote victims’ agency in exercising their participation rights: proposed efforts include physical attendance of the trial to follow court proceedings by victims through representatives.
- Better target interim support to victims: pending completion of the trial, there is a need for meaningful, effective and holistic interim efforts to support the victims where it matters the mostto them. ASF continues to advocate for the adoption of the draft Transitional Justice Policy in this regard.
Pictures © ASFContinue reading “Fatigue among the victims Regarding the case of Thomas Kwoyelo”
With the support of the Belgian Development Cooperation.
Picture © ASF/Alexia FalisseContinue reading “Digging for power: Women empowerment and justice amidst extractive industry developments in Uganda”
Tunis, 28 February 2019 – For the victims of human trafficking, Tunisia could be their country of origin or their destination country, or they could be in transit. Since 2016, Tunisia has had a strong legal framework for combatting the phenomenon, but how can effective collaboration between the actors involved be ensured? On 23 January, National Day of the Abolition of Slavery, ASF and the Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Traite des Personnes (the national anti-trafficking body) organised an international conference to take stock of the issue.
“To combat trafficking, it is essential that the different actors involved collaborate and coordinate,” explains Zeineb Mrouki, ASF Project Coordinator in Tunisia (photo). “The Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Traite des Personnes is responsible for establishing a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to organise cooperation between governmental agencies and civil society. It should make it possible to identify victims, to signpost them to the appropriate services, and to assist and protect them.”
Ministries, law-enforcement and customs officials, social workers, labour inspectors, child protection officers, civil society, etc. came together to share their experiences of victim referral and to develop recommendations for the establishment of the future NRM.
Two main considerations emerged from the discussions: the need for the actors involved to be trained in the provisions set out in Organic Law No. 2016-61 on preventing and combatting trafficking in persons; and the need for each of the actors to bring their practices into line with the law.
Illegal aliens have, for example, the right to protection when they have been victims of trafficking. More often than not, however, they are expelled from the country by the police without recourse to that protection, because they are not identified and recognised as victims of trafficking. Furthermore, the techniques for investigating and for providing assistance to victims are not suitable for trafficking cases.
Since the law on trafficking came into effect, 780 cases of human trafficking have been recorded. More and more victims are pressing charges. To this day, however, nobody has been convicted of trafficking, either because judges don’t understand the law or because they favour shorter sentences. An appeal is therefore being made to the judges in charge of trafficking cases to use the tools that the law has given them.
“We also appeal to the relevant ministries, such as the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Women, to implement the provisions of the law,” says Zeineb Mrouki. “Those include free health care and the provision of accommodation for victims.”
On 24 January, the day after the conference, awareness-raising sessions were organised in the city centre in Tunis, to inform the general public about the realities of trafficking and the rights of victims.
The conference and the day of awareness-raising were organised by the Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Traite des Personnes and Avocats Sans Frontières, with the participation of the Council of Europe, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Photos © ASFContinue reading “Combatting human trafficking: coordination is essential”
- The 20 km will take place on Sunday 19 May 2019 at 10 am.
- The registration fee amounts €35 and includes your bib, an ASF T-shirt, a snack, and a drink for the race.
- You commit yourself to raising a minimum of €100 from people you know. The donations raised will be used to support the work of paralegals, who are key players in making justice accessible to the people of Chad.
- A weekly training session and individual guidance for 3 months leading up to the race, to be provided by our colleague Pascal, an exercise enthusiast.
- A warm welcome at the start and at the finish line.
- A place to store your belongings, close to the starting line.
- Encourage your colleagues to run together.
- If you have ten runners or more, we will give you a personalised T-shirt with your logo (in black and white).
- By bank transfer to the Avocats Sans Frontières account BE89 6300 2274 9185
- Online via our secure platform