How We Work

Re-defining justice for victims of serious international crimes

Victim Advocates International (VAI) is a global movement for victims of serious international crimes. For too long, victims of serious international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, have been passive observers of foreign courts and justice mechanisms. VAI was established to disrupt the way in which victims are viewed in international justice processes. It will do this by increasing their influence through collective action, and by providing resources to support victim groups to pursue their vision of obtaining a form of justice that is meaningful for them.

The gap

Recent years have seen a trend amongst legal practitioners espousing a ‘victim/survivor-centred approach’ in justice programming for victims of serious international crimes. In reality however, victims of such crimes remain sidelined in justice mechanisms, considered purely as passive witnesses, observers, or interested parties to the proceedings—rather than being active drivers of the justice process.
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The strategy

Victims of serious international crimes are fervently dedicated to some form of justice- a fundamental force that has historically been the catalyst for challenging impunity. The strategy of VAI is to harness this power- first, by supporting efforts to mobilise and create platforms for action; and second, by providing members with the legal expertise they need to pursue justice and reclaim their rights.
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VAI’s structure

VAI’s is overseen by a Board of Directors and a Global Advisory Committee, which is comprised of representatives of the victim groups that make up VAI’s membership. This management structure ensures that VAI has robust governance and oversight whilst ensuring a collaborative form of governance, in which victim groups provide critical input into the overall oversight and strategic vision of the organisation.
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