On 26 and 27 October 2021, Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) and EuroMed Feminist Initiative (EFI) co-hosted the international conference “Supporting a Survivor-led Justice Movement in Syria” in Paris, France. The hybrid conference was part of a series of discussions between Syrian survivors, activists, civil society and representatives from other conflict-affected regions. The aim of the conference was to enable participants to share experiences and explore strategies for building a survivor- and women-led justice movement.
The 58 participants engaged in a cross-regional exchange with leaders and human rights defenders from Syria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Palestine. Discussions highlighted the importance of gender-sensitive and gender-inclusive approaches to peacebuilding processes with meaningful participation of survivors and victims. Participants also stressed the need for empowering victims to become survivors and enabling Syrian civil society to lead efforts towards justice, accountability, and sustainable peace.
In the words of one Syrian activist, “It is not easy for us to talk about our pain. Because the injury is still in our hearts. We were in Geneva and talking about people who were forcibly disappeared. The burden of finding my father, sisters and relatives is on my shoulder. And this is a big burden, but we keep going because we believe in justice.”