The ISLA: “Social Change requires holding Governments Accountable”

Monday, 9 May 2022

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a feminist, Pan-African organisation that uses the law to hold States and other actors accountable for human rights violations based on gender and sexuality. ISLA believes that strategic litigation, from a feminist point of view, is a critical tool in changing the exclusion, silencing, and erasure of women, and violence that arises from a failure to understand, contextually reframe and claim entitlements under the law.

From 9 to 20 May 2022, the ISLA will convene a Litigation Institute in Diani, Kenya focusing on Violence Against Women, with a specific emphasis on the protection of women who are trafficked

The intensive 2-week Litigation Institute will cover various topics related to human trafficking of women, including International Human Rights Framework for Protecting Women from Trafficking; Litigating cases of Trafficked Persons; Victim-centred approaches to Litigating Human Trafficking; Trauma-Informed Lawyering; and Creating an enabling environment for strategic litigation.

 ISLA’s work on Trafficking entails developing standards regarding the obligation of States to protect victims of trafficking and to specifically develop jurisprudence on the duty owed to victims in countries of origin, destination and transit.

While based on the African continent, but recognising the global impacts of trafficking, ISLA’s Litigation Institute will explore frameworks for protecting women in relation to the European and Inter-American System as well as in relation to the United Nations and the African human rights systems.

ISLA’s strategic goals is to protect sexual and women’s human rights utilising litigation and by strengthening lawyers, social movements and institutions to enable them to respond to threats that weaken civil spaces and human rights. 

Developing feminist jurisprudence as well as a pool of feminist litigators on the African continent are critical pillars of ISLA’s strategic goals to use a rights-based framework to improve the lives of women, girls and people whose rights have been violated based on gender, sexual identity and orientation. 

ISLA’s Litigation Institute in Diani, Kenya from 9 to 20 May 2022, is part of the institution’s commitment to highlight positive developments and emphasise cross-learnings from various countries on the continent; and seek to highlight and assert women’s leadership and contribution in the African human rights system while centring women’s voices and experiences in the jurisprudence to surface gender bias.

For more info contact Annette Wangong’u or Amorlett Nyamweda