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 be able to hold their government to account.

Working with partner organisations, 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 governance and human rights programmes in 20 countries reaching over 1.6 million people directly and over 15 million indirectly. 

 

Impact of Trócaire’s human rights and justice work:

Examples of the impact of Trócaire’s work in 2013-14:
 
Documenting human rights violations and providing legal support 
  • In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 4,717 survivors of human rights violations were provided with legal support and accompaniment in 2013.
  • In Honduras, 202 cases of human rights violations were documented during 2013. Forty-three survivors of human rights violations in Honduras have received support, including psychological and medical, while 15 human rights defenders in Guatemala are under the protection of precautionary measures.
  • Also in Honduras, 10 cases involving 89 people were progressed through the national justice system, while four cases were presented to the Inter-American system, which serves to uphold basic rights and freedoms in the Americas, during 2013.
  • Legal history was made in 2013 when former Guatemalan dictator General Jose Efraín Ríos Montt became the first person to be charged with genocide in a domestic court. Trócaire partners played a crucial role in bringing the trial to court. 
 
Active participation
 
Significant numbers of citizens and community groups have engaged in decision-making processes at a local level, across all programme countries. 
  • In India, 430 villages which we support have developed micro-plans, 72% of which were incorporated into local development plans. 
  • In Honduras, 92 proposals were approved by local government, up from 57 in 2012. These proposals benefited approximately 2,300 people.
  • In Nicaragua in 2013, citizens submitted 232 proposals to government, 60 of which were acted upon and benefited 15,026 people. 
 
Empowering women
 
Our programmes engage both men and women to change attitudes towards women’s participation and allow them to take up leadership positions in local decision-making structures. 
  • In Honduras, in the communities where we work, the majority (69%) of 83 community organisations have women in leadership positions, while in India the figure has reached 50%. 
  • In Uganda, 49% of women in targeted communities are aware of their right to participate in community decision-making, up from 19.5% a year ago.
 

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.

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