Litigation

Impunity and lack of accountability of actors influencing human rights or responsible for violations encourage the perpetration of crimes under international law and other grave human rights violations. This impunity is a long-term obstacle to processes of conflict and political crisis settlement, political transition and progress. Combating impunity for serious crimes contributes to their prevention and repression, the realisation of the rights of the victims to justice and reparation, and the strengthening of the rule of law.

FIDH is one of the only international human rights organisations with a broad mandate to accompany the victims of international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances) in their legal proceedings. FIDH’s involvement in these proceedings, in a leading or support role, varies according to the case.

Over the past decade, FIDH has acquired considerable experience in challenging accountability and engaging in strategic litigation, thus meeting one of its main priorities: fighting against impunity. Through the unique, dynamic interaction with its 184 member organisations in more than 110 countries, which are often the first interlocutors of victims in situations of grave human rights violations, and FIDH Litigation Action Group (LAG) - a network of lawyers, magistrates and academics working pro bono and acting as legal representatives of victims of international crimes - FIDH has been able to successfully engage in a series of legal proceedings challenging individual criminal responsibility, but also the responsibility of States and of multi-national corporations, with a special focus on the access to justice of victims of sexual crimes. FIDH is supporting almost 1000 victims in more than 110 judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings being held to determine the responsibilities of perpetrators of serious human rights violations committed in about 45 countries.

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