ASF in Tunisia

  • Location: 1 central office in Tunis
  • Date of establishment: 2012
  • Team: 1 expatriate and 14 national collaborators
  • Contact:
  • The Facebook page of ASF in Tunisia


Four years after the revolution, a long period of transition came to an end in Tunisia in December 2014, allowing the adoption of a new constitution, the establishment of a democratically-elected parliament and the election of a new president.

Tunisia must now give substance to its pledges, guarantee the principles set out in the constitution, and set to work on an important reform process, in particular in the justice and prison sectors. The working priorities include:

  • Alignment of legislative texts with international standards;
  • Improvement of the independence and impartiality of the justice system;
  • Improvement of access to justice and state legal aid;
  • Reform of the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 13 of which will guarantee the systematic presence of a lawyer during custody;
  • Enhancement and respect of civil liberties;
  • Respect of the right to defence and to a fair trial;
  • Realisation of the mechanisms put in place to deal with the past (Truth and Dignity Commission and specialised courts): this involves allowing victims to be rehabilitated and rendering justice for State crimes committed during the dictatorship and the revolution.

Other sectors and issues remain important for Tunisia: respect of freedoms, in particular the freedom of expression, the establishment of local participatory governance, respect of economic and social rights, the rights of migrants, management of natural resources and legal responsibility of companies, in particular foreign ones.

This is the backdrop against which ASF is currently working, in particular by setting up several projects in collaboration with Tunisian stakeholders (human rights NGOs and legal professionals): these projects involve assisting them in reforming the justice system, establishing mechanisms for transitional justice, ensuring respect of human rights and setting up accessible, high-quality legal aid services.

ASF projects in Tunisia

Support for civil society for the improvement of detention and reintegration conditions in Tunisia

  • Objective: support the involvement and participation of civil society in justice reform in order to guarantee fair trial, access to justice, better conditions of detention and reintegration for detainees.
  • Activities:
    • Financial support for CSOs to develop their action
    • Strengthening the capacities of CSOs with respect to technical matters, management and evaluation
    • Collecting and analysing data from grant projects to bring them to the attention of policy makers
  • Partner: Association Tunisienne de Lutte contre les MST et le SIDA
  • Funding: European Union
  • Duration: 3 years (June 2018 > June 2021)

Promoting a human rights-based model of development

  • Objective: To contribute to the defence and the promotion of economic and social rights in Tunisia
  • Activities:
    • Strengthening the admissibility of economic actors in regards to human rights and to the environment, in order to prevent conflicts and enable the enjoyment economic and social rights
    • Support and promote economic alternatives with high social, economic and societal impact

Supporting Tunisian LGBTQI persons in the Fight for their Rights

  • Objective: Contribute to the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by sexual minorities in Tunisia.
  • Activities:
    • Facilitating the LGBTQI community’s access to legal aid services adapted to their needs
    • Structuring and equipping civil society organizations to jointly advocate for Individual Liberties
    • Influencing public policies through a better social acceptance of homosexuality and advocacy actions
  • Partners:
  • Duration: 24 months (December 2018 > December 2020)

Contribute to the strengthening of the rule of law in Tunisia by increasing citizens’ confidence in the judicial system

  • Objective: Improve access to justice for people in vulnerable situations and contribute to the reform of legal aid through promoting dialogue between civil society and the political decision-makers in the regions of Médenine, Sidi Bouzid, Gafsa and Kasserine.
  • There are three dimentions to the project’s activities:
    • Organisation by lawyers of orientation sessions, judicial consultations and mediation within CDIS, DPS and CSOs
      • Free handling of legal aid cases of people in vulnerable situations and accompaniment to the BAJ
      • Development and distribution of awareness raising tools
    • Organisation of on-site training sessions
      • Peer capitalisation/RC workshops (CDIS/DPS/Lawyers in Adela and Médenine regions)
    • Carrying out of an inventory of the functioning of BAJs
  • Partner: The Ministry of Social Affairs: the General Directorate for Social Promotion
  • Funding: PNUD
  • Duration: 34 months (March 2019 > December 2021)

Promoting reforms of criminal justice system in Tunisia

  • Objectives:
    • document, analyze and disclose to the general public the violations suffered by Tunisian citizens in the criminal chain
    • engage and structure the dialogue with policy-makers and other justice actors to push for reforms
  • Activities:
    • Collection and publication of data through judicial monitoring, observation of trials, case-law analysis and legal aid
    • Design and development of an awareness campaign on CPC reform and on CC, including a short film about the use of art 125
    • Publication of a report on the failure of the reform of the law 52
    • Cycles of thematic workshops with legal professionals and others justice actors related to criminal chain issues
    • Organization of a Congress on Criminal chain reforms targeting new MPs and Ministry of Justice
  • Funding: Open Society Foundations
  • Duration: 2 years (January 2020 > December 2021)

Empowering women to access justice and claim their rights at the local level in Tunisia

  • Objective:
    • To improve and promote access to justice for women, as a vulnerable and marginalised group of the population
    • To strengthen the legal empowerment of women by setting up a legal aid service (awareness raising, individual consultations and free handling of legal cases) to ensure easy access to justice for women and to inform them of their rights
  • There are two dimentions to the project’s activities:
    • 1st axis:
      • Delivery of legal consultations for vulnerable women within the Ministry of Social affairs (Centre for Defence and Social Integration/Directorate for Social Advancement), the National Authority for the Fight Against Torture and CSOs (Beity, Amal, Tunisian Association of Democratic Women).
      • Judicial care in the eight (8) structures for the benefit of vulnerable women (two cases per month)
    • 2nd axis:
      • Training for lawyers in legal aid
      • Continuous training for social workers on legal and administrative issues
      • Cycle of exchange workshops between lawyers, the Centre for Defence and Social Integration and CSOs of the Grand Tunis area
  • Partners:
    • Ministry of Social Affaires: the General Directorate for Social Advancement
    • ATFD: the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women
    • AMAL: For the Family and Child
    • Beity: For Women Without a Home
  • Funding: International Development Law Organization
  • Duration: 12 months (June 2019 > May 2020)

Protecting the rights of pre-charge detainees in Tunisia

  • Overall objective:
    • Contribute to the respect of human rights and the rule of law in Tunisia.
  • Specific objective:
    • Improve the implementation of the new reform to the Code of Criminal Procedure in three Tunisian governorates.
  • Activities:
    • Establishment of a coordination framework and a pilot committee to bring together representatives of ONAT, SMT, ISPA, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Justice.
    • Conception, testing and evaluation of a information sharing system, through a digital application allowing fluid communication between police stations, prosecutors and the ONAT’s section of Tunis.
    • Organisation of awareness campaigns to inform citizens of their rights during police custody.
    • Sensitization of public officers to inform suspects of their rights during custody.
    • Implementation of a training cycle, responding to the identified needs of lawyers, prosecutors and police.
  • Partners:
    • Tunisian Bar Association (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie, ONAT)
    • Other organisations involved in the project:
      • National Union of Judges (Syndicat des Magistrats Tunisien, or SMT), Training school for lawyers (Institut Supérieur de la profession d’Avocats, or ISPA) and Young Tunisian Lawyers Association (Association Tunisienne des Jeunes Avocats, or ATJA)
  • Duration: 5 years (December 2016 > December 2021)

Continuing the efforts to respect the rights of persons in custody

  • Overall objective:
    • Strengthening Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Sectors in Tunisia.
  • Specific objective:
    • Improve the implementation of the new reform to the Code of Criminal Procedure in three Tunisian governorates.(Sousse,Tunis,Gafsa)
  • Activities:
    • Training on awareness techniques
    • Raising awareness campaign
    • Access to the lawyer in the phase of custody
    • Training cycle benefiting the LTDH
    • Implementation of the monitoring system program
    • Producing observation reports
    • Cycle of workshops with key-actors
  • Partner: LTDH
  • Duration: 24 months (October 2019 > September 2021)


Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) is an NGO specialised in supporting access to justice, based in Brussels. ASF has no connection with the NGO “Avocats Sans Frontières” headed by Mr. Gilles-William Goldnadel in Paris. The public positions and statements of Mr. Goldnadel therefore do not in any way represent those of ASF.

“محامون بلا حدود ” منظمة يقع مقرها في بروكسيل و هي تعمل على تحقيق التنمية عبر دعم النفاذ إلى العدالة والسهر على تحقيقها.

“محامون بلا حدود” لا تمت بأي صلة وليست لها علاقة مع المنظمة الفرنسية “محامون بلا حدود” والتي يترأسها السيد جيل وليام غولدناديل. وعليه فإن المواقف المعلنة لهذا الشخص أو

لمنظمته لا تلزم بأي حال من الأحوال “محامون بلا حدود” ولا تعبر إلا عن ارائه الشخصية.

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