Human Rights

Human Rights Platform of French NGOs working at international level to protect Human Rights – PDH

Human Rights Platform of French NGOs working at international level to protect Human Rights – PDH

IREX Europe, as a co-founder, is happy to announce the launch of a Human Rights Platform of French NGOs working at international level to protect human rights. The launch of the platform – known as PDH (Plateforme Droits de l’Homme) – follows its official registration in Lyon on September 8th and its formal establishment in a constitutive General Assembly in Paris in July 2018.

Eleven French NGOs have worked together the past 18 months to establish the Platform which seeks to address the lack of coordination and communication between French organisations working to support human rights on the international scene.

The platform is essential in the current international development sector where international donors and actors are directing their strategies towards a rights-based approach. The platform will allow its members to increase their influence and impact when acting together in lobbying and advocacy, creating a stronger and more unified voice in favour of the defence of human rights on the international level.

In addition, the Platform will work to increase information, knowledge and skills exchanges between members, most of which are small NGOs with limited resources but which carry out important advocacy work and support to HRDs around the world.

The current development phase of the platform is funded by the AFD (Agence Française de Developpement).

A Board of administration was set up in Paris with the position of President held by Raphaël Chenuil from Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM), the Treasurer is Florence Duvauchelle from IREX Europe, the General Secretary being Veronique Rouault from Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme (AEDH) and the Deputy president Claire de Grave from Terre des Hommes France.

If you are a French NGO working at International level and would like to join the platform, please contact plateformedh@aedh.org

Fostering the effective implementation of a legal framework conducive to Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly in Morocco (FEAAM)

Fostering the effective implementation of a legal framework conducive to Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly in Morocco (FEAAM)

The overall goal of the project is to foster the effective implementation of a legal framework conducive to freedom of expression, association and assembly and consistent with international standards and best practices, in Morocco.

The project’s first component focuses on supporting the implementation of new laws and regulations and the functioning of regulatory bodies: the Press Code; the Press Council; the Consultative Council for Youth and Associations, for example. The project will also provide input into new draft laws or draft revised laws under review by analyzing the current legal and regulatory framework in Morocco and advocating for compliance with International standards and best practices.

The project will also work to foster and support a broad-based movement of civil society groups, along with a coordinated strategy to improve public understanding and support of freedom of expression, association and assembly. This will be the focus of the project’s second component by reinforcing media and civil society groups to perform a watchdog role for society, thus supporting implementation of current laws consistent with International Human Rights’ norms.

The project will be implemented by IREX Europe, in partnership with Adala, Article 19 MENA and the UNESCO office for the Maghreb countries over a 26 month period.

FEAAM Objectives:

  • Objective 1: To promote advocacy by civil society and media groups for an improved legal framework that protects freedom of expression, association, and assembly, with the advocacy based on a comprehensive analysis of the current legal environment and legislation.
  • Objective 2: To support and build the capacity of lawyers, journalists and media professionals (including new and alternative media actors)and civil society such that they perform a watchdog role that ensure implementation of existing laws and regulations are consistent with international standards.

 

Our project works to achieve these objectives through the following activities:

  • Legal analysis and recommendations on existing laws and/or draft laws and regulations to ensure consistency vis-à-vis international standards
  • National and international advocacy for improved legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Campaigning for fundamental freedoms: Capacity building and support to CSOs and Media for a wider outreach
  • Promoting monitoring tools and mechanisms
  • Support to the Legal Assistance and Guidance Unit for Moroccan Journalists
  • Regional blog tours on Fundamental Freedoms held for bloggers and HRDs
Mozambique Media Strengthening Program: Community radios

Mozambique Media Strengthening Program: Community radios

Overview:

The purpose of the Mozambique Media Strengthening Program – Community Radios project is to develop a network of community radio (CR) stations capable of acting as a catalyst for social change at the community level by providing essential information on a broad range of issues that are critical for economic and social development.
The project aims at increasing the ability of community radio stations to provide more and better information to listeners, and to improve the stations’ financial and technical sustainability.
The project is implemented in close collaboration with IREX’s broader media project in Mozambique funded by USAID.

The Mozambique Media Strengthening Program – Community Radios is a 2 years project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contract attached:

Grant_agreement_MFA_IREX_Europe17112016.pdf

With a population of more than 27 million, Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in Africa with a large proportion of young people (the median age is 17). In 2008 more than half of Mozambicans (54%) were living below the national poverty line and currently life expectancy is of approximately 55 years.

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Community Radios in northern and central region

The majority of the country’s population does not have access to mainstream media. In this predominantly rural country it is estimated that only 6 out of 100 people are internet users. Moreover, many people who live in rural settings do not speak the official language, Portuguese.</

In this context, many people rely on the local Community Radio as their only source of news and information. In addition to the fact that they broadcast the majority of their programs in local languages, CR play an essential role as amplifiers of a broad range of public service information, for example on health, good governance, education, gender, biodiversity or climate change, and act as a catalyst for social change at the community level.

Project Activities:

  1. Community Radio Experience Exchange (Leadership)
  2. On-the-Job Mentorship (Management/Leadership)
  3. Training- Audience Research for Enhanced Radio Content and Income Generation
  4. Training- Radio Program Production/Adobe Audition
  5. Training- Radio Program Production/Adobe Audition for Women Journalists
  6. Experience Exchange- Radio Program Production around Gender/GBV
  7. On-the-Job Mentorship- Journalism & Radio Program Production
  8. Community Radio Experience Exchange- Digital Tools for Community Engagement
  9. Community Radio Experience Exchange- Preventative Equipment Maintenance
  10. On-the-Job Mentorship- Digital Tools, Social Media for Community Engagement and Journalism
U-Impact: From Citizen Involvement to Policy Impact

U-Impact: From Citizen Involvement to Policy Impact

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U-Impact is the acronym of the multi-country cross-border project “From Citizen Involvement to Policy Impact”. It is implemented by nine citizen organizations and supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.

The project coordinates citizen involvement with the public authorities on national and European level in eight EU member states and one candidate state in order to develop a sustainable mechanism for increased impact of citizen initiatives on the policy making process in the EU.

The project specifically targets the European Parliament elected in 2014 and aims at increasing the citizen participation in its policy making process in line with its increased power and competences in the Union.

U-Impact consist of a series of policy initiatives developed by citizens across borders in the 9 participating countries with the aim of improving important everyday aspects of their lives as European citizens and directly targets policy impact on European and national level. The aims of the project include:

  • improving citizen’s understanding of the new power structure of the Union and the new role of Parliament as well as the opportunities to interact and impact its decision making process;
  • helping create a sustainable platform for increased pan-European citizen participation;
  • offering concrete solutions to specific European citizen problems and have them debated with European and national policy makers;
  • creating an inclusive long lasting network for policy debate and impact involving citizens across borders building on their cultural diversity and promoting the development of a common European public space.

U-Impact works to foster a meaningful debate with policy-makers, including the European Parliament and to build the mechanisms for turning citizen involvement into effective citizen impact on EU policy.

Syria:  Justice and Accountability Centre

Syria: Justice and Accountability Centre

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) is a multi-laterally supported organisation that will collect, collate, receive, process, analyse, and securely store information, evidence, documentation and other materials relating to violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Syria. The SJAC will serve as a coordinating mechanism for organisations and individuals that are already engaged in the documentation of human rights abuses, providing an electronic repository for information as well as identifying and addressing crucial gaps. The purpose of the SJAC’s analyses is to identify patterns of events, crimes, and capture a historical record of victims’ experiences in view of a broad range of future accountability and transitional justice processes.

Overview

Founded in 2012, the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) is a multi-laterally supported organization that collects, collates, receives, processes, analyzes, and securely stores information, evidence, documentation and other materials relating to violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Syria. Based in Lyon, France, the SJAC serves as a coordinating mechanism for organizations and individuals that are already engaged in the documentation of human rights abuses, providing an electronic repository for information as well as identifying and addressing crucial gaps. The purpose of the SJAC’s analyses is to identify patterns of events, crimes, and capture a historical record of victims’ experiences in view of a broad range of future accountability and transitional justice processes.

Background

The idea for the SJAC first emerged during the second Friends of Syria meeting in April 2012. The Friends of the Syrian People envisioned that the SJAC promote accountability and justice for Syria through the establishment of an independent and multi-lateral institution, cooperation among actors working on human rights and accountability efforts for Syria, the development of a credible information repository on violations of human rights and humanitarian law related to Syria, as well as through the expertise of its staff and partners.

The SJAC became operational in July 2012 when its international implementing partners and the SJAC Executive Director hired key staff, launched the SJAC’s programming, began registering the institution in Lyon, France, and began conducting outreach and fundraising activities. The SJAC has been successful in securing financial and political support from a wide range of countries and multi-lateral organizations.
Under the guidance of a Board of Directors (BoD), comprised of transitional justice and Syrian experts, the SJAC is driven by the following vision and mission.

The Vision

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) envisions a Syria where people live in a state defined by justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law; where perpetrators of human rights abuses are held accountable; and victims are recognized and compensated for violations they have suffered.

The Mission

to promote justice and accountability in Syria through ensuring that all violations of international criminal, humanitarian, and human rights law are documented, that civil society and other relevant actors work effectively together, and that data and expertise are available to serve as a deterrent to continuing abuses and for future accountability and transitional justice efforts.

IREX Europe is provided technical support to the SJAC to establish its project offices in Lyon, France.

Somaliland:  Interactive Theatre for Peace

Somaliland: Interactive Theatre for Peace

Overview

Building upon IREX Europe’s two successful theatre for peace projects in Somaliland, IREX Europe will continue work with its Hargeisa-based partner Kow Media Corporation to promote peaceful dialogue on community issues. The project, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, targets 48 Somali communities in the 6 regions of Somaliland utilising Drama for Conflict Transformation methodologies. This innovative methodology, which combines theatre, debate, poetry, and reflection, creates a ‘safe space’ for exploring incendiary issues such as tribalism, radicalisation, community tensions and other drivers of conflict. IREX Europe and its partners have successfully implemented the methodology with Somali communities in Kenya, in Indonesia and in Central Asia.

Background

Since declaring independence in 1991, Somaliland has surprised the world as a fledgeling democracy, holding peaceful elections and successfully integrating traditional Somali modes of governance into contemporary politics. However, Somaliland remains vulnerable to extremism and violence due to regional instability, including ongoing tensions between Puntland and Somaliland, which have escalated into violence several times. Within this climate, communities have had few models for civil discourse and little opportunity for constructive debate of political issues. As a result, street protests and violence are too often the way in which people attempt to resolve political and social issues. As Somalis become increasingly disenfranchised and frustrated, extremist voices can appear an increasingly attractive alternative to democracy. This project will build upon Kow Media’s work through its “Geediga Nabada” Peace Caravan team of trained theatre practitioners and successful IREX Europe/Kow Media collaboration through the Theatre to Promote Peace and Understanding Project, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Project Activities

The project will increase the impact of the Geediga Nabada theatre throupe through capacity building in the use of structured dialgoue and interactive theatre techniques. This will include longer terms contracting, theatre troupe management capacity building, and integrating script writing into the theatre group repetoire. In addition, ast least 2 new young actors will be recruited to thte troupe to add sustainability and flexibility to the troupe.

IREX Europe and Kow Media will organise a travelling theatre caravan to offer shows in six regions of Somaliland targeting up to 30,000 people. Following each performance, members of the theatre troupe with training in facilitating discussion sessions will encourage dialogue amongst the community members present to promote critical thinking and challenge entrenched views. Community members will be invited to speak about challenges specific to their lives and areas, encouraging dialogue and the collective identification of solutions. During these discussion sessions, facilitators also will encourage viewers to create their own poetical verses discussing the issues addressed in the theatre performances. This is especially relevant in Somaliland, where poetry is an important component of cultural expression.