Destination Justice is a nonprofit human rights and rule of law organization that has operated in Southeast and Central Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. It evolved as a partnership of rule of law and human rights professionals, and draws from its network of experts to provide strategic litigation, advisory, and research support to human rights defenders, local organizations, and social changemakers, including from the LGBTQI community. Since its establishment a decade ago, Destination Justice has tried to create a model that enables remote and home-based work, presenting meaningful opportunities to early career legal professionals, and creating part-time or short-term consulting opportunities to enable more sustainable career development. Destination Justice generates revenue through paid consulting services to human rights CSOs and relies on partnerships and volunteer participation. In Cambodia, Destination Justice ran the Justice Café and Library, which was a safe space for social changemakers to meet, consult resources, and ideate that also generated revenue that covered rent and overhead.
Theory of Change
Providing support to local social changemakers helps increase their impact on the way to a just and peaceful society.
Destination Justice develops initiatives to support local organizations and human rights defenders that work on the front line. While working in Cambodia, the organization proposed, developed, and published the country’s first Annotated Constitution in 2017. The document elaborates the Constitution, together with Constitutional Council and international decisions, promoting consistent decision-making and advocacy around the importance of publishing court decisions. Destination Justice has also fought for the release of human rights defenders held in arbitrary detention, organized human rights advocacy campaigns for international justice, and established the Justice Café & Library to address the need for a safe space and free resources for budding changemakers in Cambodia. Run for over three years as a social enterprise, the café offered food, beverages, an event space, and a studio for producing short films that educated the public on human rights and the rule of law.
Destination Justice’s initiatives have reached hundreds of human rights defenders in 11 countries. Since the creation of the Annotated Constitution, 160 Cambodian legal practitioners and law students have received a copy and used it in their work. An impact survey conducted one year after its publication found that 100% of respondents believed the Annotated Constitution was necessary for Cambodian legal literature. In the 10 years since it was founded, Destination Justice has also provided free strategic litigation, advocacy, and trial monitoring support to 78 human rights defenders fighting against state-sponsored violations. Through its petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the organization helped with the release of 17 human rights defenders in Vietnam as well. The Justice Café and Library in Cambodia hosted over 100 events, provided free access to a library with over 800 donated publications, and produced 15 short films used to educate the wider public on human rights and rule of law. Destination Justice’s YouTube content has garnered over 100,000 views in total.