Founded in 1992 in Brussels, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) is an international NGO specialising in access to justice and the defence of human rights.From Kinshasa to Tunis and Bogota to Bujumbura, its teams defend illegally detained prisoners, encourage legislative reforms for better respect of human rights, support lawyers and represent the voices of victims before the courts.
ASF works in countries where human rights are ignored and where political violence and armed conflict are common. Often arbitrary, justice does not guarantee the security of citizens. People whose rights have been abused tend to resort to vigilante justice, which evolves into the law of the strongest or richest, and contributes to a climate of violence.
For ASF, establishing the rule of law is an indispensable precondition for the emergence of lasting peace and sustainable economic and social development. People need to be able to rely on an independent judicial system that is accessible to all. This is why ASF seeks to contribute to combating impunity for crimes, to restoring the dignity of victims by way of their participation in trials, to promoting observance of the rights of defence and to rebuilding national justice systems.
ASF has field offices in Burundi, Uganda, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Tunisia. It also develops transnational projects, including on the protection of human rights defenders and on the freedom of expression.
ASF works in close cooperation with lawyers and civil society.