This project aims to build accountability for international crimes and grave violations of human rights committed in the context of the armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. The project works to strengthen the justice systems of these countries by engaging with actors both inside (i.e.: judges, prosecutors and police) and outside (i.e.: lawyers, NGOs and human rights defenders) their legal systems. The goal is to increase their capacity to professionally investigate, document and prosecute conflict-related crimes and serious human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence crimes, ultimately contributing to increased accountability, as well as more effective justice systems.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) strengthened capacity of lawyers in the DRC and Burundi to build case files, undertake investigations and provide effective legal assistance to victims of international crimes and serious human rights violations; (2) improved capacity of Burundian and Congolese human rights defenders and civil society organizations to properly document international crimes and serious human rights violations, contributing to the referral of such cases to relevant (national and international) judicial bodies; and (3)improved capacity of Congolese judicial actors (judicial police, prosecutors and judges) to effectively investigate and prosecute international crimes and serious human rights violations, including through a better understanding of the use of new technologies in evidence collection.