Special projects

Rule 39 Initiative

Hosted by CILD with the support of Orrick, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Eversheds Sutherland, Osborne Clarke, Freshfields, Reed Smith, and led by Dr Daria Sartori

CILD is proud to launch and host, with the support of 8 international law firms, the Rule 39 Initiative for the urgent protection of the human rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants in Italy, Greece and Turkey, led by Dr Daria Sartori.


Currently, changes in migration flows in Europe, particularly in the wake of the recent regime change in Afghanistan, are leading to increased frequency of violations of human rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants seeking safety. Violations that are entirely avoidable and punish vulnerable groups seeking assistance. These violations, and the recent events which have precipitated them, have gripped the world and the legal and human rights communities.

In response, the 8 above mentioned international law firms and CILD have united to deliver the Rule 39 Initiative, in which lawyers and experts will assist in the drafting of Rule 39 requests, designed to allow asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants to seek urgent help in the European Court of Human Rights for rights violations committed against them by government administrations. Requests which enable vulnerable persons to seek a remedy where domestic remedies in the respective countries are providing little to no real relief.

The work of the Initiative, which will run for at least a year, will be led by Dr Daria Sartori, a lawyer and expert in European Court of Human Rights actions.

Why Rule 39?

Rule 39 requests are a measure available in the European Court of Human Rights and are typically utilised by NGOs seeking urgent help in:

  • Stopping collective pushbacks of asylum-seekers
  • Preventing expulsion or extraditions of vulnerable individuals to countries where their human rights are at risk
  • Moving individuals out of refugee camps ill-equipped to cater to vulnerable groups
  • Ensure countries provide life-sustaining food and water to refugees and asylum seekers stuck between borders.

It is a fast-acting tool that can be used to stop active human rights abuses.

Who will be assisted within the Rule 39 Initiative?

Given the recent regime change in Afghanistan and implications for existing and potential new Afghan refugees in the region, this project will primarily focus on Afghan individuals; however, given the unfortunately extensive need in this area, it will also assist asylum seekers and migrants of other nationalities.

Media contact

For further information on the Rule 39 Initiative please contact:

Fabi Fugazza
Chief Operations Officer (Strategy & Development)
Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights
fabi@cild.eu