March 13, 2017
ASF in DR Congo: 15 years of commitment
Congo (the Democratic Republic of the)Human rights defendersInternational justiceLegal aidNewsSexual violenceTortureTransitional justiceVictim's rightsWomen's rights
- ASF opens an office in Congo. Some 95 % of the population has no knowledge of the law nor of legal processes.
- Intensive training for magistrates is set up in different provinces. The transitional constitution is translated into four vernacular languages.
- Partnership launched with the library of the Faculty of Law, Kinshasa University.
- Opening of the first ‘legal clinic’ in Kinshasa’s Kasa Vubu district, in partnership with the Women Lawyers’ Association in Congo. The clinic sees about 250 people a month to provide clear, understandable legal advice. Launch of awareness-raising and information campaigns in markets, outside churches, etc.
- First mobile courts organised. Tribunals travel to remote locations.
- ASF runs a regional project covering Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and campaigning against torture.
- Efforts are stepped up to break the cycle of impunity in international crimes. ASF offers legal assistance to both victims and defendants in trials conducted within Congo, as well as to victims appearing at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
- ASF campaigns against impunity in sex crimes, rampant throughout the country. Projects are launched to bring perpetrators to justice. These include support for local NGOs, capacity-building for lawyers, awareness-raising, legal advice and representation in court for victims, studies and publications.
- ASF undertakes strategic litigation involving human rights defenders under threat, such as those involving Floribert Chebeya and the Sirforco Company in Yalisika. In contributing to bringing about justice for those involved, ASF works towards achieving sustainable legal remedies to combat the problems at stake.
- ASF helps seven communities in Lisala in Equator to defend their rights against logging companies.
- ASF’s Uhaki Safi project is set up to raise awareness of rights, responding to the needs of those seeking justice, and improving provision of legal services.
- ASF campaigns against widespread illegal detentions before trial.
- ASF supports human rights defenders and other civil society activists taking part in debates on democracy, to strengthen their influence and enable widespread participation in public debates during the electoral process.
- ASF steps up its efforts to promote access to justice in Congo, supporting those taking part in conflict prevention and resolution, and strengthening mechanisms that can help to consolidate peace.