Ottawa, 21 December 2018: Today, the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) launches a new web platform to showcase its Community Engagement in International Justice initiative, a multimedia project undertaken throughout 2018 to promote and increase access to justice for survivors of international crimes such as torture, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Canada has been a refuge to many people fleeing violence, including thousands of Syrian and Yazidi refugees in recent years. With the Canadian government’s commitment to welcome more refugees by 2020, the number of survivors in Canada who have suffered from atrocity crimes is certain to rise. For many of these survivors, seeking justice is a necessary part of their healing.
CCIJ’s Community Engagement in International Justice project engages with individuals and communities interested in obtaining legal redress for international crimes through public education across Canada. The project features multimedia materials, such as short documentaries, photo galleries, and interviews, highlighting the steps that some CCIJ clients have already undertaken to seek justice for the harm they suffered. These emblematic cases provide concrete examples to survivors of available justice mechanisms in Canada and internationally.
“Through this project, we seek to place survivors at the forefront of our justice initiatives and use story-telling as a powerful medium for them to actively participate in their healing from trauma,” says Amanda Ghahremani, Legal Director of CCIJ. “This project reflects CCIJ’s victim-centred approach to international justice and our commitment to providing platforms for survivors to share their perspectives.”
The new website includes online resources that describe the opportunities and barriers to seeking justice for atrocity crimes. CCIJ also organized bespoke workshops across Canada with community groups to provide more in-depth legal information. Through this project and the associated web platform, CCIJ aims to reach hundreds of survivors who have not yet embarked on their own justice efforts but wish to do so.
“CCIJ is committed to increasing access to justice,” says Sharry Aiken, a Queen’s University Professor and member of the CCIJ Board of Directors. “This project helps raise awareness within affected communities but also invites all Canadians to learn about the personal stories of some of our most resilient neighbours.”
This project was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Law Foundation of Ontario Access to Justice Fund. Additional support was provided by the Canadian Partnership for International Justice, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
CCIJ is a national charitable organization that provides legal assistance to people in Canada who have suffered from atrocity crimes. CCIJ also investigates and pursues perpetrators of international crimes with a connection to Canada and engages with Canadians through education and awareness programming.
For more information about CCIJ’s work or the newly-launched Community Engagement platform, we invite you to visit: