Fighting for justice

Photo: Elena Hermosa. Catalina Sanchez Solis, testifies at the 2013 trial of Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt.

Every day ordinary people in the poorest parts of the world are taking a stand against human rights violations and the denial of basic services which many of us take for granted.

Sacrificing their own safety, they challenge vested interests, stand up to oppressive governments and sometimes put their lives on the line.  It is the right of all citizens in every country to hold their government to account.

Working with established organisations in each country, Trócaire supports the work of documenting human rights violations and challenging those responsible, and empowering marginalised people, especially women, to participate in governance processes and demand accountability from their governments. 

Last year, Trócaire supported 28 governance and human rights programmes reaching over 1.7 million people directly and up to 7.5 million indirectly.


Examples of Trócaire’s human rights and justice work:

  • In Zimbabwe, Trócaire supported the documentation of human rights violations and provided litigation support in 27 select cases (mainly victims of political intimidation), challenging those responsible and demanding greater protection from the state.  The programme also assisted with medical treatment and psycho-social support for individual human rights defenders. 
  • In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Trócaire-supported partners provide legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses (mainly those who have lost their homes or civilians who were injured during military activities). Last year, 7,791 people were provided with such support. 
  • In Odisha, the poorest region of India, a Trócaire-supported advocacy project played a role in increasing female representation in Odisha’s five-yearly panchayat (local) elections. Women won 64% of seats, an increase from fewer than 30% in 2007.
  • In Malawi, Trócaire partners working at community level were asked, by men and women in communities, to prioritise education.  As a result of lobbying by Trócaire partner organisations, and others, the Government of Malawi increased the national budget allocation for education from 12.5% in 2009 to 18.7% in 2012. 
  • In Kenya, Trócaire partners working in sparsely-populated rural areas identified increasing ethnic and social tensions due unresolved, and often minor, clashes.  As a result of lobbying, the Government of Kenya established a mobile court to facilitate a hearing of cases and an early resolution of conflict.


Take action on human rights and justice issues


Photo: Elena Hermosa. Catalina Sanchez Solis, testifies at the 2013 trial of Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt.

Fresh from the Blog, Justice

by Aisling Walsh, Guatemala   The 25th of February 2014 marked the 15th anniversary of the publication of ‘Memory of Silence’.    This report on the findings of the Guatemalan Truth Commission, documented the acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and grave human rights violations that were...
by Aisling Walsh, Guatemala Update on the Rio Frio community who were forcibly evicted off their land in the Polochic Valley to make way for a sugarcane plantation.    Driving through the lush green valley of Polochic in eastern Guatemala you could easily be fooled into thinking that you are...
By Michael O'Brien, Policy Officer   The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is conducting a review of Ireland’s Foreign Policy and External Relations. The Review is a timely exercise.     We live in a world in which security and prosperity can only be achieved over the long term if we act in...