We pursue legal claims for survivors and the prosecution of perpetrators

Our Justice programme promotes access to justice for survivors of torture, an essential part of their recovery.

We bring human rights cases against governments, civil cases against individuals, and criminal cases where we advocate for law enforcement bodies to prosecute perpetrators under the principle of universal jurisdiction. Through this work we promote the right of access to justice under the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the absolute prohibition of torture.

We prioritise cases with a strategic objective – those that may bring about necessary legal, political, or social changes beyond the case. However, we seek always to ensure that the client and their needs are at the forefront of the process.

Our Justice programme demonstrates our commitment to stand with survivors and accompany them through the sometimes-lengthy justice process. We adopt a holistic approach, providing survivors with the help they might need, by referring them to specialist agencies for support beyond our expertise in areas such as housing, employment, health, and social support.

There are two main areas of work that fall under our Justice programme:

Justice – UK

There are many torture survivors in the UK, both citizens and refugees. We bring legal claims on behalf of survivors based in the UK, ensure referrals for their psycho-social support, engage with their communities, and conduct advocacy to push for policy changes to improve their situation and address the underlying causes of torture. We encourage the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute perpetrators.

REDRESS works to secure justice for survivors through projects and cases including:

  • Facilitating a network of UK-based survivors of torture since 2022 known as the Survivor Advisory Group. The main priorities of the Survivor Advisory Group are protecting the absolute prohibition of torture and putting survivors’ voices at the centre of domestic legislative and policy proposals. The Survivor Advisory Group has developed the Survivors of Torture Manifesto, a call to action, which states their recommendations to the UK government on how to remove the main barriers survivors face when attempting to seek justice, including accountability, rehabilitation, asylum, and immigration. This builds upon our research report, Whose Justice? Reflections from UK-based survivors of torture, which highlights the views of torture survivors on what ‘justice’ means to them and informs the support provided to survivors through the legal process.
Justice International

Our project-based justice work is focused on specific jurisdictions in Africa, the Americas, and Asia where there is impunity for torture but where there are also opportunities for justice. We work with national partners to bring cases to domestic and regional courts, the UN Treaty Bodies, and the International Criminal Court on behalf of survivors of torture around the world. We also work with prosecutors in Europe to encourage universal jurisdiction cases.

REDRESS works to secure justice for survivors through projects and cases including:

  • Justice for Torture Survivors in Sudan. We work with partners in Sudan to address obstacles to accountability for the gross human rights violations that occurred under former President Omar al-Bashir, and to realise the promises of Sudan’s revolution. We are litigating cases on behalf of torture survivors, encouraging universal jurisdiction prosecutions, and advocating for the introduction of anti-torture reforms in Sudan.
  • International Accountability Platform for Belarus (IAPB). We are co-leading a project with the NGO Dignity and national partners to collect, verify and preserve documentation and evidence of unprecedented human rights violations committed in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election in Belarus and in its aftermath.
Photo credit: ESA/REDRESS: REDRESS and partners in Uganda have supported survivors of the conflict in Uganda such as Elizabeth Adongo, a victim of sexual violence, seek justice.