REDRESS Report Access to Justice for Victims of Systemic Crimes in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, April 2013

From 13-14 April 2012, in the margins of the NGO Forum preceding the 51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), lawyers and other experts met in Kololi, The Gambia, to discuss victims’ experiences of accessing justice and seeking reparation.

Participants included lawyers and experts from Algeria, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Participants explored challenges and potential solutions in accessing justice at the national, (sub-) regional and international levels. Their presentations and discussions form the basis of this paper. Any inaccuracies are solely those of REDRESS and cannot be attributed to participants.

This report provides a summary of the discussions on how victims have attempted to access justice and obtain reparation at the national, regional and international level, and considers avenues for human rights activists and lawyers to work together in advancing victims’ right to justice. It also provides key proposals for improving victims’ access to justice and reparation in Africa on the basis of the conference proceedings.