I worked as intern for CJA for a few months in the Winter/Spring of 2008. While working there I had the opportunity to see from the inside an organization that is taking direct legal action against some of the worst Human Right violators. Having worked in Human Rights awareness/lobbying previously, it was incredibly rewarding to work towards such tangible results. Just prior to my arrival, CJA won a case against a Peruvian Major responsible for a massacre in a village in rural Peru. CJA is composed of a group of bright and dedicated lawyers and human rights activists. Part of the great pleasure of volunteering at CJA was learning from the team. They have a deep understanding of the legal framework of Human Rights and their dedication is inspiring. We need more organizations like CJA. Despite their small numbers their impact is profound, both directly for the people who they help find justice and as a symbol to would-be human rights violators around the world.
CJA is one of only a handful of nonprofits in the world that litigates international human rights cases. Their small, dedicated and hardworking staff manage to make a huge impact in the field of human rights, and in the lives of many victims of human rights abuses. CJA gives a voice to so many who would otherwise never have had access to the legal system nor achieved some measure of justice for the atrocities they have suffered.
My experience with the Center for Justice &Accountability;(CJA) was very eye-opening and personally full-filling. CJA's work in this relatively novel area of law is extremely important for the international human rights movement and U.S. citizens who do not want to see their country become a safe haven for the world's most notorious and brutal human rights abusers. CJA's holistic approach to its work-focusing both on accountability for the perpetrator and justice for the victim-makes CJA an ideal example for future human rights work.