Founded in 2005, Dejusticia is a Colombia-based research and advocacy organization dedicated to the strengthening of the rule of law and the promotion of social justice and human rights in Colombia and the Global South. They promote positive social change by producing rigorous studies and fact-based policy proposals; carrying out effective advocacy campaigns or litigating in the most impactful forums; and designing and delivering education and capacity-building programs.
At Dejusticia, they believe that academic work can be committed to social justice and can contribute to effect change, and they have an “amphibious” approach to their work: they take deep dives in academic and policy-design research and writing with a clear sense of how such work can and will have an impact on their direct action and advocacy.
Dejusticia is an action-research center for legal and social studies. We came into being to push for an inclusive citizenry, that is, a society in which citizens both feel included and are inclusive; feel empowered to claim their rights and have institutions within which they can do so effectively; understand and are committed to an ideal of inclusive democracy and demand the same from State and private institutions that affect their lives.
Vision & Theory of Change
They believe that empowered communities imbued in a culture of inclusiveness, and stronger, more rights-focused institutions can ignite virtuous cycles of community engagement, policy reform and accountability.
Organizations such as theirs can best effect change and foster these virtuous cycles by using their expertise to amplify, enrich, and support individuals’ and community actions to demand their rights, to increase and democratize communities’ and advocates’ access to education about human rights and advocacy strategies, and to make concrete proposals to improve institutions so that they can be more capable of protecting and guaranteeing rights.
In this tenor, they work to:
- Strengthen the rule of law, so that state institutions can better protect and guarantee the enjoyment of all human rights.
- Empower vulnerable, marginalized or disadvantaged populations and amplify their voices so that their demands are heard and can drive change.
- Combat inequality by promoting a human rights focus in economic and social welfare policies, environmental protection, health, and other areas where a lack of attention to individual and communities’ human rights can lead to entrenched inequality.
- Strengthen the voice and agency of the Global South in global human rights debates, academic production, and agenda setting.
At the center of this practical approach, they aim for a highly ambitious yet, in their view, achievable longer-term and cumulative result: to alter the fundamental ideas that shape how individuals, communities and institutions understand the world, and the degree to which they incorporate social inclusion and human rights in their day to day work. This includes the realms of participation, policy design, advocacy, and evaluation and solution of problems.
As these ideas change, more virtuous cycles of community and citizen engagement and institutional accountability and reform can be activated and sustained.See more