- All the Bar Associations of Catalonia will have legal experts specialised in international humanitarian law to detect, assist, and defend victims
event_note Press Release
The Government of Catalonia, through the Directorate General for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights of the Ministry of Equality and Feminisms, is working on a new stable mechanism for collecting testimonies and transferring reports and evidence related to war crimes and crimes against humanity suffered by refugees arriving in Catalonia.
The Director General for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights, Adam Majó Garriga, explained that only a very small proportion of war crimes are reported, and therefore: “Catalonia wants to contribute to addressing this situation by providing an operational and respectful reporting mechanism for refugees”.
To move forward in this regard and establish collaboration channels with the relevant international organisations, a Catalan delegation led by Adam Majó Garriga and the Deputy Delegate of the Government to the EU, Laura Rius, met at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. This delegation also held meetings with the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) and the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) with the aim of cooperating to ensure the rights of refugees in Catalonia and promoting international protection for reporting war crimes or crimes against humanity. “The European Union’s response to the war in Ukraine, by welcoming refugees and denouncing Russian war crimes, is a good example that should be extended to all people arriving in Europe fleeing from wars and persecution”, stated Majó.
That’s why work is underway on this new process, which, in its initial phase, involves training a large group of lawyers in international humanitarian law. Furthermore, all the Bar Associations in Catalonia will have leading experts in international humanitarian law who can detect, assist, and defend victims.
The new mechanism will be formalised through a collaboration agreement with the Council of Catalan Bar Associations, which will be signed in the near future. The agreement will allow for the establishment of an effective response strategy for victims of human rights violations, such as those related to war crimes, as well as victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, it will focus in particular on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The circuit has been designed in collaboration with organisations representing refugees and host communities which agree on the need to establish this mechanism.