Legal advocacy center for referral to human rights “treaty bodies”

Country: Switzerland
Organization: TRIAL (Track Impunity Always)
Years supported: 2007- 2013

There has been undeniable progress over the past 20 years as far as combating impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and crimes of war is concerned. However, efforts have focused on international criminal law, the establishment of new tribunals, and individual prosecution.

Without calling the penal approach into question, TRIAL wished in 2007 to demonstrate the effectiveness of other available instruments, such as non-judicial proceedings. With regard to the latter, the NGO sought to encourage recourse, rarely and poorly utilized, to the treaty body supervisory mechanisms.

In 2007, with the backing of Pro Victimis, TRIAL set up the Advocacy Center TRIAL (ACT) with the aim to use the existing human rights individual complaint mechanisms in order to restore victim’s rights and help them obtain justice and redress. Its main objective being to target States in non-compliance with their human rights obligations and to enable victims to assert their rights and obtain justice through referral to “treaty bodies” (Human Rights Committee, Committee against Torture, etc.) or recourse to special procedures.

In addition to its legal assistance for victims, ACT also runs special training courses for lawyers, NGO members and human rights defenders from countries which are experiencing – or have recently experienced – massive human rights violations.

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