new victims helped


human rights defenders trained


ongoing cases at domestic level


ongoing cases at international level


annual budget (CHF)

The political crisis in Burundi has persisted throughout 2016. For the second consecutive year, Pierre Nkurunziza’s government clung to power, brutally repressing all dissidence. The authorities cut ties with the international community, including the UN Committee against Torture and the International Criminal Court.

Burundi walks out of UN procedures

The narrow democratic space has further shrunk. Journalists, lawyers and political opponents have fled en masse, leaving victims even more powerless in the face of abuse.

Burundi crisis here to stay

Adapting to mass repression

Traditionally operating in post-conflict settings, TRIAL International had to quickly adjust its strategy on the ground. Enhanced security for staff, collaborators and beneficiaries was paramount to maintaining activities.

TRIAL representative asked to leave Burundi

In the wake of the crisis, victims and their defenders have become more vulnerable than ever. As a preventive measure, TRIAL included briefings on physical and digital security to its trainings for local lawyers, in partnership with a leading expert in the field.

Fighting a wide range of abuse

The crisis in Burundi has been characterized by rampant impunity, leading to further violations. To stop this vicious circle and multiplying victims’ chances to obtain justice, TRIAL International has differentiated its strategy in order to explore all the available legal avenues, both at the national and international level, for instance before the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances.

Burundi under ICC scrutiny

New cases were strategically selected to represent the breadth of human rights violations in the country. Through individual cases, TRIAL International hopes to establish precedents that will benefit all victims and bolster the rule of law.

What makes TRIAL International’s action in Burundi unique?

  • It is the only organization to keep working on human rights cases domestically since the crisis started.
  • It was the first actor, in 2011, to file a complaint against Burundi before international human rights bodies. 23 other cases have been filed since.
  • It is the only actor to offer regular, tailor-made trainings to lawyers.
  • It is the only NGO to litigate human rights cases in partnership with Burundian lawyers.

TRIAL International establishes key precedent in Burundi