Crossroads is a project initiated by Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) and its partners in six countries engaged in improving access to international criminal justice: Burundi, Colombia, Guatemala, Nepal, Uganda and DR Congo.
Why? Because new conflicts break out around the world every year and thousands of men, women and children are the victims of serious human rights violations (murder, pillage, deportation, rape, and so on). Often well beyond the reach of judicial institutions, these victims are deprived of their right to access justice. Transitional justice and international criminal justice, of which it forms part, make it possible to rectify these criminal wrongs and build sustainable peace.
With what objective? To support access to international criminal justice for the most vulnerable, victims or perpetrators of international crimes, whilst respecting the rule of law – including the right to a fair trial and the right to defence – and international standards. The aim of the project is quite specifically to improve justice systems in the six countries in question.
To benefit whom? Victims and communities that are victims of international crimes, particularly women; actors in civil society and organisations for law professionals, such as lawyers; national judicial systems and also the International Criminal Court (ICC).
How? Through advocacy campaigns for ratification of the Rome Statute and implementing laws with national authorities, in particular; observation of trial; improving skills of lawyers, law students and civil society organisations (including through training and coaching); awareness-raising activities; judicial assistance for victims before the ICC; and legal assistance to the most vulnerable before the national courts.
With what expected results? Depending on the situation in the six countries involved in the project: a move towards ratification of the Rome Statute and its implementation; improved application of the Rome Statute by the national law courts; for the most affected communities of victims to be better informed; a greater capacity of lawyers to defend cases according to the principles of the Rome Statute, and of key actors to file actions against international crimes before the national courts and the ICC.
With which partners? On the ground, ASF Canada in Colombia and Guatemala, and INSEC in Nepal; with its principal financing from the European Union and co-financing from the MacArthur Foundation; for a period of 30 months (10/2013-04/2016).