Institute for International
Cooperation and Development Studies

Project Conflicts, peace and security

Truth forges ahead: investigation and advocacy regarding human rights violations in the Western Sahara, highlighting the specific situation of Sahrawi women


To drive and develop a human rights advocacy strategy in the Western Sahara based on research  along with the victims of human rights violations and specifically women, the dissemination of the findings, strengthening of the capabilities of Sahrawi human rights organisations and institutions, and their coordination.


The project provides continuity to the processes to strengthen the Sahrawi organisations for international human rights research and advocacy. Special mention should be made of the envisaged activities, which will be conducted in occupied Western Sahara, the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf (Algeria), the Basque Country, Madrid, Paris and Geneva:

  • The Sahrawi civil organisations will prepare an Alternative Report addressed to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for the next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Morocco (2022).

  • We will implement advocacy actions with human rights and political institutions of Spain, France and the BAC.

  • We will present the Report on Human Rights Violations of Sahrawi Women Committed by Morocco to the HRC in Geneva and advocacy actions in Madrid and the BAC.

  • We will organise the IV Training, Discussion and Coordination Encounter of Human Rights stakeholders of the RASD.

  • We will mainstream, with the Sahrawi community residing in the Basque Country, the main findings of the research by Hegoa into human rights in the Western Sahara, with emphasis on highlighting the specific situation of Sahrawi women; mentoring will be provided to the Sahrawi victims.

Planned publications

  • Report into human rights violations of Sahrawi women committed by Morocco in occupied Laâyoune (Western Sahara). 
  • Summary of the Report on Women’s Human Rights.


  • Duration
    November 2020 - October 2021
  • Places
    Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Euskadi
  • Status


Irantzu Mendia Azkue
Directora, Hegoa Institute
Gloria Guzmán
Project management and advisory services
Tatiana Montenegro
Project management and advisory services
Almudena Sainz
Administration and finance


Carlos Martín Beristain

Collaborating entities

Comisión Nacional Saharaui de Derechos Humanos (CONASADH)
Asociación Saharaui de Víctimas de Violaciones Graves de los Derechos Humanos Comprometidos por el Estado Marroquí (ASVDH)
Delegación del Frente Polisario en Suiza y Representación ante la ONU en Ginebra

Funding entity