May 31, 2023

Justice ExPEERience: a network and a platform for the promotion of human rights

Communities of practiceHuman rights defendersJustice ExPEERience

This article was written as part of ASF’s 2022 annual report, which will soon be available on ASF’s website.

Justice ExPEERience is an international network of actors active in the promotion of human rights on all five continents. It is above all a collaborative network, in which members are invited to share their experiences and expertise, but also to work together, in coalitions or communities of practice, on concrete projects for monitoring human rights violations, strategic litigation or advocacy actions.

More than a year after its launch, the Justice ExPEERience network has over 400 members. Among them are activists, lawyers, researchers, members of civil society, etc. who work in the fields of justice and human rights promotion. ASF’s ambition is to create an environment that allows all these actors to collaborate and mutually strengthen their expertise and capacities.

This is why ASF has started to develop in 2021 the digital platform Justice ExPEERience. This digital tool allows the network to be animated and structured. This is where exchanges take place, where learning between peers from different regions becomes possible, where working groups are formed and where collaborations are developed.

In order to guarantee the security of its members and the confidentiality of the information shared on Justice ExPEERience, the data is hosted directly on ASF’s servers and does not transit through the servers of big digital companies. To promote multi-country networking and meet the needs of as many actors as possible, Justice ExPEERience is a multilingual platform: its interface is currently available in German, English, Arabic, French and Portuguese; and posted content and news can be translated into other languages using an instant translation tool. In 2022, the platform was also developed as a mobile application, downloadable and usable on smartphones, to make it more accessible in all contexts.

On Justice ExPEERience, all members can share information, news and interact like on a social network, on human rights issues; but they can also share documentation and collaborate directly online, in a secure way, on documents. Different collaborative spaces are available on the platform, on specific themes or projects: the platform hosts 250 collaborative spaces, including 20 public spaces dedicated to the exchange and sharing of thematic information between all members of the network. The members of Justice ExPEERience are therefore invited to collaborate not only on public sharing spaces, open to the whole network, but also on confidential private spaces strictly reserved for members working on a common project.

Justice ExPEERience Community(ies)

In these different spaces, network members can work together in coalitions or communities of practice, maintaining the desired level of openness or confidentiality of their work. In 2022, Justice ExPEERience has developed several communities of practice, consisting of civil society actors implementing projects in different countries. They deploy and coordinate joint actions for monitoring human rights violations (in different countries), strategic litigation (national or transnational) or advocacy (at local, regional or international level). In the confidential spaces dedicated to them, the communities of practice have a shared and collaborative library, which the members enrich, in order to encourage the horizontal dissemination of expertise and learning between peers. This sharing of expertise and information also takes place in the thematic spaces open to all members, making Justice ExPEERience itself an international and multi-sectoral community of practice.

In order to energise the network and foster exchanges between its members, ExPEERience Talks are organised every month to promote the dissemination of expertise and knowledge. They are webinars during which network members present a research, a project, a tool or an analysis related to the promotion of human rights and justice. In 2022, 5 ExPEERience Talks took place, on topics as varied as the trajectories of Tunisian migrants repatriated from Italy, the governance of natural resources in Uganda and the DRC, penal practices in the CAR, or the scope and impact of the decisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Each month, information on new research, activities and events of the network is shared in a newsletter, The ExPEERience Letter.

Justice ExPEERience has the ambition to develop further in 2023: attracting new members, enriching the creation and sharing of expertise through its platform but also its Talks and newsletter, developing new collaborations – especially transnational -, opening up to partnerships with external actors and improving the platform and its tools to better meet the needs of its members. Justice ExPEERience will be the subject of a tech-demo at the international summit for digital and human rights, RightsCon, in June 2023.

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