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In all regions of the world, perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses continue to enjoy impunity. Meanwhile, victims, especially the most marginalized and disadvantaged, remain without equal access to justice, effective remedies and reparation (redress).

The ICJ works to promote accountability for human rights violations, abuses, and serious violations of humanitarian law, whether by States, armed groups or businesses.

In 2017, the ICJ launched the Global Accountability Initiative with a particular focus on accountability for gross human rights violations and crimes under international law.

Global Accountability Initiative

The Global Accountability Initiative consolidates and strengthens the ICJ’s longstanding work on combatting impunity and promoting redress for gross human rights violations around the world through the entrenchment of the rule of law.

The Initiative pools the knowledge and efforts of the ICJ’s various regional and thematic programmes so that activities to combat impunity can be specifically tailored to different global, regional and country situations. These efforts are coordinated and given coherence by a global Project Coordinator who maintains an overview of both the ICJ’s work and developing trends. This approach also facilitates greater integration and interaction between the ICJ’s legal advisers and programme staff leading to more effective and timely responses to emerging challenges.

The ICJ’s approach includes:

  • evaluating legal, institutional and other obstacles to accountability in different countries often advocating for legal reform;
  • strengthening access to justice and accountability mechanisms;
  • engaging in strategic legal or policy interventions, including public interest litigation;
  • providing expert legal submissions to UN and regional human rights mechanisms;
  • developing dossiers of emblematic cases of gross human rights violations which contain recommendations to combat impunity;
  • observing trials;
  • training and building the capacity of lawyers, victims, human rights defenders, judges, prosecutors and investigators to seek and deliver justice; and
  • conducting national, regional and global advocacy on questions of law, policy and practice.

These activities have been implemented across the world, usually with local, regional and international partners, including in Cambodia, Colombia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Guatemala, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Venezuela, and Yemen.