new victims helped


human rights defenders trained


ongoing cases at domestic level


ongoing cases at international level


annual budget (CHF)

Aware that 2016 would be a politically sensitive year, TRIAL International conducted an early risk assessment with expert NGOs Protection Internationale and the International NGO Safety Organization. Thankfully, these precautionary measures proved sufficient and the NGO was able to carry out its actions as planned.

Bolstering all levels of the judiciary

The DRC judicial system presents deficiencies on several levels. To ensure the effectiveness of its action, TRIAL International extends its capacity-building to different actors of the judiciary.

Local lawyers and human rights defenders were trained to better document crimes, in particular sexual violence, using the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict as a roadmap.

Documenting sexual violence in DRC

Adopting a “learning by doing” approach, trainees conduct documenting missions on real cases under TRIAL’s supervision, allowing them to implement their learnings.

“The support of an NGO is reassuring”

TRIAL International is also part of a pilot project to improve the Congolese justice system. Led by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Union, it seeks to develop the roles of civil jurisdictions and to promote access to international and regional bodies.

A pilot project to facilitate access to justice

Always at the side of the victims

As part of the Task Force on International Justice (TFJI) in South Kivu, TRIAL International facilitates the work of Congolese courts. In particular, it ensures victims can meaningfully participate to criminal trials.

Read: A three-day journey to testify in court

Unfortunately, no victim in DRC has ever been effectively redressed, even when the perpetrators, were convicted. TRIAL is one of the few NGOs to support them through the long and trying procedures.

What makes TRIAL International’s work in DRC unique?

  • It is the only actor to submit cases committed in Eastern DRC to international mechanisms
  • It was the first to litigate international crimes before Congolese civil jurisdictions
  • It is the only NGO to train local lawyers through long-term coaching
  • TRIAL International is the only actor to support victims in their quest for compensation

Timid but encouraging steps forward