Acid Survivors Trust International's work has produced real change. The organisation was involved in many successful campaigns, such as those to introduce acid laws in Cambodia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The organisation was involved in many successful campaigns, such as those to introduce laws in Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Columbia and most recently the UK. In 2016, The Trust Law/Thomson Reuters Foundatin shortlisted ASTI for a Solicitors Journal Award for Working in Partnership with J Sagar Associate, Baker & McKenzie and P&G Asia for the comparative law study that looked at acid laws in the UK, India, Cambodia and Colombia.


Photography by Ann-Christine Woehrl

Helping Survivors and Changing Attitudes

Read about our successes below:


A two year programme led by ASTI  with local partners Burns Violence Survivors Nepal and Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan in the delivery of a British Government funded project led to:


  • 152 survivors benefiting from medical and psycho-social support services
  • Awareness and sensitization on the causes and consequences of acid violence, acid crime legislation, police procedures and immediate response to acid attack to 513 community leaders
  • 151 survivors benefit from legal support
  • 54 survivors access professional skills training and financial support
  • 6,360 community members reached through campaign materials or  street theatre
  • In Pakistan two successful radio campaigns reaching 4,400,000 people across the target regions spreading awareness on acid violence and on how to respond to an acid attack.


ASTI was supported by the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF) in a two-year project. ASTI worked with local partners in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda. The project contributed to:


  • An acid law and sub-decree being passed in Cambodia.
  • The Uganda National Bureau of Standards producing guidelines to regulate use of acid.
  • In Cambodia health and legal notification and referral systems strengthened in 18 provinces and increasing number of lawyers and legal aid professionals willing to support survivors in taking cases forward.
  • In Cambodia 300 women in 2 provinces receive information on legal and medical support.

Changes in law

ASTI worked alongside and supported the work of local partners to bring about changes in law relating to acid violence.


  • Acid Survivors Foundation Bangladesh which played a key role in policy change in Bangladesh. Bangladesh was the first country to pass a law banning acid violence, in 2002.
  • ASTI’s local partner Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan campaigned hard and played a critical part in helping to bring about The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill in 2011 which has contributed to the decline in attacks.
  • Once known to be the country with the highest number of such attacks (496 recorded attacks in 2002) and the highest incident rates for women, it has since experienced a drastic drop (approx. 70 attacks recorded in 2012) in the frequency of acid assaults.
  • ASTI supported the work of Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity in bringing about legal reform. Cambodia has also adopted a law against acid violence to criminalize and penalize perpetrators. A year after it was passed in 2012, the country also passed regulations governing the sale and use of concentrated acid. The number of recorded acid attacks has been significantly.
  • With over 100 victims of attack annually, Colombia has strengthened its legislative framework and enacted a law in January 2016 to impose sentences of 12 to 50 years in jail to perpetrators of acid attacks. The law was named after acid attack survivor  Natalia Ponce de Leon who was attacked in 2014 and has since campaigned for stricter laws on acid violence.
  • The Colombian government also sought information from ASTI on tackling acid violence. At the invitation of the Colombian government ASTI executive director visited Colombia on two occasions (2014 and 2015) to provide expert advice. Following this, in 2017 the Columbian government passed a law on acid violence.
  • As well as conducting vital research ASTI has campaigned to change laws and raise awareness on acid violence in the UK since 2014.  Due to our level of expertise ASTI has been consulted by the British Government on a change in UK legislation with a focus controlling the sale of corrosive substances. ASTI provided expert evidence to the Parliamentary Offensive Weapons Scrutiny Committee in late 2018 and has been engaging with the Home Office since. ASTI has provided policy briefings to the Home Office, Members of Parliament and Members of the Lords.
  • On the 16th May 2019 the Offensive Weapons Bill 2019 received Royal Assent and is now an Act of Parliament. This Act introduces new policies, recommended by ASTI, in order to tackle acid violence in the UK. These include; it being an offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place, an offence to sell certain harmful corrosive products to under 18s and new restrictions on delivery of and online sales of corrosive products. This provides real potential in terms of knowledge and information share with other countries experiencing acid violence.



ASTI has produced a series of studies focused specifically on acid violence. Research is key to informing, developing and implementing effective strategies for change.



Situational Analysis of Acid and Burns Violence in Nepal, 2011, in partnership with Burns Violence Survivors Nepal and United Nations Trust Fund.



Situational Analysis of Acid Violence in Uganda, 2011, in partnership with Acid Survivors Foundation Uganda and United Nations Trust Fund



Situational Analysis of Acid Violence in Cambodia, 2011, in partnership with Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity and United Nations Trust Fund.




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Acid Survivors Trust International



Patron: Her Royal Highness

The Princess Royal