14 December 2010
As part of its ongoing efforts to contribute towards greater accountability for gross human rights violations as well as redress for victims, ASF has launched a new multi-country project entitled Promoting the Rome Statute System and enhancing the effectiveness of the ICC, thanks to the financial support obtained from the European Commission.
The Rome Statute represents an enormous step forward in the promotion of respect for international law, prevention of gross human rights abuses and redress for victims of such abuses. It provides a comprehensive framework in order for the prosecution of international crimes to be possible at both the national and international levels in line with the principle of complementarity. The effective functioning of this dual framework, however, requires continued engagement on the part of states and civil society organisations in raising awareness at the global level, promoting universal ratification and enhancing the capacity of national legal systems.
Since 2005, ASF has been implementing an integrated project in the DRC aimed at contributing to the reconstruction of the country’s weak justice system, providing legal aid to victims of serious human rights violations and strengthening the International Criminal Court with the support of the EC, the Government of Belgium and the MacArthur Foundation. The current project allows ASF to build upon lessons learned from the above experience and expand both the content and geographic scope of its activities.
Accordingly, the project activities consist in capacity building for civil society, lawyers and actors in the justice sector, the development of regional and national advocacy networks within the legal profession and support for the ratification of the Rome Statute and the enactment of implementation legislation, supporting and monitoring national prosecutions and providing legal aid for victims.
Countries covered under the project include the DRC, Uganda, Burundi, Colombia, East Timor and Nepal. In addition, Burundi, Uganda and Colombia shall serve as the hub for activities involving regional networks for French and English speaking African countries and Latin America, respectively. As such, Guatemala, Chad, Guinea, Kenya and Zimbabwe will participate in some of the activities conducted in the aforementioned countries. The activities will be carried out in coordination with ASF Canada, the implementing partner for Latin America and other international and local organisations associated with the project. ASF is also pleased to be associated with the Leuven Institute of Criminology of the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in the implementation of the Project.
We look forward to continuing to work with the ICC and the various international and national actors engaged towards the attainment of the objectives of the Rome Statute.