FAQs about CEJIL

Frequently Asked Questions about CEJIL

When and why was CEJIL founded?

CEJIL was founded in 1991 by a group of prominent human rights defenders in the Americas to promote greater access to the Inter-American System.  Their goal was to create a regional organization that promoted justice, liberty and a life of dignity for every person in the hemisphere.  CEJIL focuses its efforts on the use of International Human Rights Law and bodies of the Inter-American human rights promotion and protection system.

In which countries does CEJIL work?

CEJIL works out of four offices in the Americas. CEJIL’s offices are located in Washington D.C., United States, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Río de Janeiro, Brazil; San José, Costa Rica.

How many victims does CEJIL represent?

CEJIL, alongside 380 partner organizations and human rights defenders, has represented more than 13,000 people in over 220 cases in varying stages of the litigation process before the Inter-American Commission and Court.

How does CEJIL select the cases it litigates?

In order to have the broadest impact with limited resources, CEJIL engages in cases that are emblematic of widespread human rights violations in the Americas, for which litigation has a potential to contribute to social justice, the strengthening of democracy and long standing institutional changes to guarantee a greater degree of respect towards human rights. However, due to limited resources and its mission, CEJIL cannot take all cases.

Do these cases make a difference?

CEJIL’s cases not only secure results in the protection of the rights of victims and their just reparations, but they also establish new standards in the protection and guarantee of human rights. For example, cases can result in a State’s public acknowledgment of responsibility and apology for crimes committed.  Cases can also result in friendly settlement agreements with governments, declarations by the Commission and Court regarding violations by States, orders for reparations for victims and changes in law and policy. CEJIL has obtained reparations of approximately $40 million in the last five years for its victims.

Does CEJIL charge for its legal representation?

CEJIL does not charge fees to the victims it represents.

How is CEJIL funded?

CEJIL is funded through donations from foundations, individuals, European governments, and other supporters.

How can I help?

CEJIL is always in need of volunteers (such as attorneys, law students, communications professionals and translators) willing to support its mission. CEJIL also has various internship programs available.  CEJIL also accepts individual and institutional donations.