Supporting Syrian civil society's role on transitional justice and accountability issues

Project objectives
No Peace Without Justice’s work on Syria aims at reducing the expectation and rewards of impunity and building a culture of accountability. The purpose is to equip citizens to demand accountability and justice for violations taking place on a daily basis since 2011, and at the same time equip decision-makers to answer that demand.
The mainstay of the project is advocacy, training and support events, which are being held in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, with Syrian judges, lawyers and civil society activists from Syria who can bring the skills and (perhaps more importantly) aspirations for justice back to their work and their constituents inside Syria.
The long-term goal of this project is to promote democracy and human rights protection through incorporating justice and accountability in decision-making on conflict resolution and stability, development, and reconstructing planning in Syria. The project's strategic objective is to support Syrian civil society playing an active role on justice and accountability issues, including advocacy and documenting human rights violations. 

  • Capacity-building activities focus on specific themes and issues that are relevant to justice and accountability, rather than provide generic training on human rights and transitional justice, including:
  • Chemical Weapons Awareness and Documentation,
  • Forensic Investigations of Cases of Political Violence,
  • Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, including against men and boys,
  • Digital Safety and Security
  • Crimes against children in armed conflict (including recruitment) or in which children are significant targets;
  • The role of UN Mechanisms in promoting accountability
  • Psychological-social impact of human rights documentation, including primary and secondary post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Principles and outreach on a new Syrian Constitution; and
  • Human rights in refugee and IDP environments.

Some of the issues are dealt with in multiple events and some events cover more than one issue. All events include some degree of risk awareness to address the most common physical, digital and psychological risks, particularly when the focus is on documentation work.
NPWJ supports Syrian civil society to participate in advocacy on accountability issues at the international level, including at the UN Human Rights Council and the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court. NPWJ also conducts its own advocacy on accountability and on mechanisms to promote that, such as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syria since March 2011, established by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2016 in Resolution 71/248.
These complementary sets of activities contribute to ensuring: a) the technical capacity for the future Syrian State to deliver an effective system of accountability and transitional justice; b) that the establishment of a fair, effective, and independent transitional justice system (in all its components) becomes a strong and shared political demand of human rights campaigners as well as a political priority for the future Syrian State during and after any transition begins.

Funds have been generously provided by the European Union, the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN Women and the Open Society Foundation.
List of specific activities:



  • Transitional Justice in Syria, Dawlaty & NPWJ, July 2013 (Download the book in EnglishArabic)

For further information, please contact Alison Smith, Director of the International Criminal Justice Program, on, or Gianluca Eramo, MENA Democracy Program Coordinator on
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