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
  • Financial report: 2012, 2013, 2014


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

Adela: Improving access to high-quality justice in Tunisia

  • Objective: contribute to strengthening the rule of law in Tunisia by promoting the reform of the justice system and by building citizens’ trust in the judicial system. More specifically, the objective of the project is to improve access to justice for people in vulnerable situations in the Greater Tunis, Gafsa, Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid regions, and to contribute to the institutional reforms of the justice system by promoting dialogue between civil society and political decision-makers.
  • Activities:
    • Awareness-raising, free legal consultations and judicial assistance.
    • Strengthening the capacities of partner civil society organisations, CDIS and social assistance units, and of partner lawyers.
    • Advocacy and networking, inclusing organisation of the Access to Justice Forum.
  • Partner: Action Associative
  • Budget: €701,995
  • Funding: Delegation of the European Union to Tunisia – European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) & United Nations Development Programme
  • Duration: 3 years (October 2015 > October 2018)

Breaking the taboo (Kachef al Maskout Anhou): Fight trafficking in human beings in Tunisia

  • Objective: strenghten the Tunisian civil society in the fight against human trafficking.
  • Activities:
    • Capacity building for the staff of the listening centres, on comprehensive victims’ support (active listening, legal, administrative, medical and psychological aspects)
    • Creation of a network of listening centres
    • Public awareness campaigns
    • Publication of advocacy reports, based on field surveys and data collection
    • Organisation of a parliamentary forum on the state of human trafficking in Tunisia
  • Partners: Forum Tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES, Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights), NOVACT
  • Budget:$ 532.068
  • Funding: European Union
  • Duration: 2 years (January 2016 > December 2018)

Protecting the rights of pre-charge detainees in Tunisia

  • Objective: improve the implementation of the new reform to the Code of Criminal Procedure in three Tunisian governorates, through a better access to justice for people in police custody, more public awareness on the issue of rights in police custody and strengthened capacities of key actors in this stage of procedure (lawyers, judges and state police officers).
  • Activities:
    • Establishment of a coordination framework to bring together local stakeholders.
    • Conception, testing and evaluation of an information sharing system.
    • Raising public awareness rights while in police custody.
    • Sensitisation of public officers to inform suspects of their rights during custody
  • Partner: Tunisian Bar Association (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie, ONAT).
  • Budget: $828,025
  • Funding: International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), US State Department
  • Duration: 2 years (December 2016 > December 2018)

Promoting effective reforms of the Tunisian justice system

  • Objective: promoting effective reforms of the Tunisian justice system in accordance with constitutional principles, international standards, and human rights provisions.
  • Activities:
    • Data collection through judicial follow-up, trial observation, case law analysis and investigation.
    • Capacity building of the pool of lawyers-collectors.
    • Production of periodic analytical reports on violations of the right to a fair trial as a result of the observations.
    • Preparation of a progress report on the reform of the Justice Reform Action Plan.
    • Organisation of two workshops within the government working group for the reform of the judicial and penitentiary system.
    • Publication of 4 observational analyses of an iconic trial.
    • Organisation of 2 press conferences.
    • Audiovisual production of 4 emblematic cases of the judicial process of a “lambda” litigant.
  • Budget: $ 250,142
  • Funding: Open Society Foundations
  • Duration: 2 years (October 2017 > September 2019)

Security and human rights

  • Objective: contributing to the prevention of violent extremism by strengthening the rule of law and human rights respect within the framework of the Tunisian State’s security policy.
  • Activities:
    • Conducting and publishing a field study targeting at least 1000 young people from marginalized regions and neighborhoods, with the aim of highlighting the link between state violence and violent acting-out.
    • Generating and publishing a report on human rights violations resulting from the implementation of government security policies.
    • Holding a national congress bringing together policymakers and CS actors with a view to generating recommendations to adapt UNSGAP at the national level.
  • Partner: Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux
  • Budget: € 200,534
  • Funding: Open Society Foundations
  • Duration: 2 years (November 2017 > November 2019)

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
  • Budget: € 1,111,111
  • Funding: European Union
  • Duration: 3 years (June 2018 > June 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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