Victims and Survivors Seize their Justice
Statement by Legal Action Worldwide
17 July 2023, Geneva-Global: On this international day, victims and survivors of international crimes seize their justice. Without meaningful participation of victims and survivors in international justice proceedings there can be no constructive reconciliation, no sustainable peace nor well-being of societies.
Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) works closely with victims and survivors and supports them in their fight for justice, ensuring their voices are amplified. We believe that international justice must be the space where victims and survivors take ownership of the process, convey their needs and ensure their perceptions of justice are realised. This statement is their voice:
“Justice would be to close all prisons, torture, and detention centres in Syria … Justice would be achieved by holding those involved in the violations in the regime’s detention centres to account.” (Survivor of torture, Syria)
“Justice to me is where truth stands tall; a set of laws that defend the truth from false in all fairness and impartiality.” (Survivor of domestic violence, Sri Lanka)
“According to my point of view, revealing the bitter truth of any unethical situation is Justice. People taking charge of the weight of the damage they have done is Justice. Also, more than anything, an honest apology is Justice.” (Survivor of domestic violence, Sri Lanka)
“When I stop worrying about myself, stop worrying about my skin colour and to be equal to the Lebanese people.” (Member of a minority group, Lebanon)
“Justice is recognition as a Rohingya to the whole world. Justice is not having to give up my dreams just because I am a refugee. If Rohingya people get nationality and citizenship to live in Myanmar like other communities living in Myanmar, that is justice. (Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh)
“Justice is for all Rohingya survivors of rape and torture. If we can repatriate back to Myanmar and never have to flee again, that is justice for me.” (Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh)
“I don’t want what happened to me to happen to my sisters, brothers and other women anywhere.” (Survivor of sexual violence, South Sudan)
“Justice gives me the freedom to speak out. So our voices will be heard outside.” (Survivor of sexual violence, South Sudan)
“Justice allows me to forgive.” (Survivor of sexual violence, South Sudan)
About the Legal Action Worldwide
LAW takes a survivor centred, gender sensitive approach to creative legal strategies in order to improve access to justice and provide legal redress to the most vulnerable in conflict-affected and fragile regions. At LAW we work towards equality of all before the law and to deliver access to justice to those who need it most – victims and survivors of human rights violations and abuses in conflict-affected and fragile environments.