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ACT Project Phase 2: Assisting Communities Together - 2000-2001

Final Report

Background

The second phase of the ACT Project, an initiative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) implemented together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was launched in November 1999 thanks to a US$250,000 contribution from the United Nations Foundation.

I. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SECOND PHASE OF THE ACT PROJECT

Under the second phase of the ACT Project, OHCHR awarded grants for 97 projects in 16 developing countries or countries in transition.

Eighty-eight activity reports were received by OHCHR from the grant recipients, representing 90.7% of the total number of grant-receiving projects, compared with 63.7% under the first phase. In all cases of non-receipt of reports, OHCHR was kept informed by its UN partners in the field of the reasons for the failure to report, for example the death of an NGO representative, disintegration of the grant recipient or a difficult working environment that made completion of the funded activity impossible. In this way, OHCHR was able to keep track of all grant-receiving projects – a major improvement over the first phase.

The second phase of the ACT Project was based on lessons learned from the pilot phase. Specifically, the process of selecting activities for grants was carried out at the field level through ACT Task Forces composed of OHCHR and UNDP representatives and others (under the first phase, the process of selection had taken place at OHCHR/UNDP Headquarters). This decentralization strategy led to a closer working relationship between ACT Task Forces and grant recipients, enhancing both the quality of the projects selected and the monitoring of project implementation.

The second phase of the ACT Project fully met - and often exceeded - the objectives set in the Project Document. The Project has enabled OHCHR to raise awareness of human rights issues among remote populations through tailor-designed projects. The Office has also developed its network of partners through cooperation with UNDP Country Offices and DPA and DPKO missions.

This phase enjoyed considerable success among grant recipients and UN partners – mainly UNDP Country Offices and OHCHR field presences – in the countries involved. According to the ACT Task Forces, the ACT Project is one of the few activities at local level that offers support to civil society in tackling both general and specific human rights issues. It is designed in such a way as to reach community groups undertaking focused actions that have the potential to make a real difference. More specifically, through the visible support and funding that it provides to selected human rights activists, the ACT Project has enabled many of them to pursue their initiatives, to establish or develop networks with other groups and, in some cases, to initiate working relationships with local or national authorities. The summary reports on activity execution reflect these achievements (see annex 1). As an overall estimate based on final evaluation reports, about 5,000 individuals, generally belonging to marginalized groups such as refugees, prisoners, street children, sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, persons with disabilities, elderly people, etc., have benefited from activities supported by the ACT Project. Beyond this, the ACT Project has proven to be a tool for change in the daily lives of wide sections of the population.

The close relations forged by the United Nations with grant recipients through the ACT Project also impart added value to UN work both locally and at Headquarters. The exchange of information, know-how and methodologies adapted to target groups has enabled all actors to explore news forms of cooperation and has enhanced the image of the UN system at community level.

The Project Document for the second phase of the ACT Project envisaged a six-month implementation period. But delays occurred at three levels. First, grant management (including the preparation of sub-contracts signed by UNOPS and grant recipients, and the disbursement of funds) depended on UNOPS procedures, which were not under the control of OHCHR. Second, many of the activities selected needed more time for implementation than the three-month period proposed by OHCHR Headquarters to the ACT Task Forces as a criterion for selection. The latter actually decided to select projects requiring a longer implementation period in order to produce a greater impact. A third cause of delay in some cases was the difficult political and logistical situation in which grant recipients operated, especially in Colombia and Abkhazia (Georgia), where some activities had to be postponed or cancelled.

II. LESSONS LEARNED

The delays described in section I prompted OHCHR to consider a new grant management strategy for the next phase of the ACT Project. Thanks to new capacities and procedures within the OHCHR Administrative Section (creation of a Grants Committee, for instance), OHCHR will assume responsibility for management in the future. Project administration will be rationalized; instead of three partners (OHCHR, UNDP, UNOPS), only two (OHCHR and UNDP) will deal with administrative aspects of the Project in the future. Their roles will be clearly defined to avoid the kinds of misunderstandings described in the last interim report.

Another lesson learned from the success of the Project is the need to develop it further (in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 55/94 of 4 December 2000), integrating it into a more global OHCHR activity. Thus, the ACT Project will in future be implemented as part of the general activities of the Office within the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004) and will be funded through the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation.

Lessons were also learned from the feedback of grant recipients and the selection criteria used by the ACT Task Forces. A three-month implementation period is reportedly often too short to achieve the desired impact; moreover, the amount of the grant (US$3,000 maximum) is viewed in most countries as falling short of the amount needed by grant recipients to complete their projects. The next phase of the ACT Project will therefore be based on a 12-month time frame, 5 months of which will be devoted to activity implementation, and the amount of the grant will be increased to US$5,000.

Report on selected activities

Abkhazia, Georgia

1. The Centre for Caucasian Research conducted research on the death penalty in Abkhazia. The work included countrywide research on the issue, two seminars with students, and one seminar with lawyers and representatives of NGOs and the authorities. The death penalty still exists under Abkhaz law although no executions are carried out. The project raised awareness among the participants who committed themselves to disseminating the results of the events in order to prepare public opinion for abolition of the death penalty.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,400

2. The Centre for Democracy and Human Rights organized three seminars on human rights in four high schools in three cities. In each school, two seminars and a competition among schoolchildren to write an essay on human rights were held. One result was that teachers now include human rights in school curricula.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

3. The Centre for Democracy and Human Rights supervised research by five scholars on the notions of common law and respect for the human being in traditional Abkhaz society. A round table was held to discuss the findings of the research.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

4. Between October 2000 and April 2001, the Tkvarcheli Region Youth Initiative organized 405 lessons for 250 fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade pupils from schools in Tkvarcheli. During the classes, the pupils learned about the International Bill of Human Rights and about specific conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on National Minorities, etc. Role-playing, sketches and tests were integrated into the lessons. The grant recipient reports that the project showed a considerable lack of basic knowledge about human rights among children from the region; in these circumstances, the activities undertaken were greatly needed and very welcome.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

5. The Human Rights and Civil Society Foundation organized a week-long seminar for 29 high school students from 27 October to 1 November 2000. The seminar consisted of: interactive role-playing, lectures and briefings on international human rights treaties and conventions, as well as open discussions on specific issues such as conflict prevention, leadership, democracy, the role of NGOs, etc. The seminar was so successful that it was decided to disseminate the content and outcomes to other schools in Sukhumi.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

6. Ms. Nona Tachevna Pilia, a schoolteacher, wrote and illustrated textbooks for children aged 7 to 8 in the Russian and Abkhaz languages containing texts adapted from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the illustrations represent characters from Abkhaz fairy tales. The books also contain an attachment AInvitation to the Future@, to be filled in by the children themselves. These are the first books on human rights to be produced for children in Abkhazia; 500 copies in each language will be published.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,700

7. Ms. Nadejda Yurievna Venediktova, a journalist, published a supplement on legal and human rights concerns entitled “Your Legal Adviser” to 26 issues of the newspaper Nuzhnaia Gazeta (the Abkhaz newspaper with the widest circulation – 5,000 copies). The project provided readers with basic human rights knowledge, taking into account the total lack of information from abroad on these issues. It should also strengthen the rule of law in the region.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,990

Azerbaijan

1. AYuva@ Humanitarian Center produced a comic-strip book for children on children's rights. The 1,700 copies were distributed throughout the country to children aged 9 to 13, and to refugee children. The book was presented by professionals and volunteers from the NGO, and children were asked to show it to their parents and families and to discuss the issues addressed.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Azerbaijan National Helsinki Committee Citizens’ Assembly produced memoranda and posters on the basic rights of prisoners, quoting articles from various human rights instruments. The materials were introduced and distributed to law enforcement officers and employees of judicial bodies through Ministries, the Supreme Court and regional and urban courts. The grant recipient is planning to continue its work with the support of the OSCE, specifically the project to create a human rights school.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Democratic Development Foundation of Azerbaijan will conduct research aimed at rationalizing human rights enactments forming part of domestic legislation after comparing them with international human rights instruments. The research should lead to an improvement in domestic law in this regard. The results should serve as a major tool for the work of officials, NGO activists, journalists and other people.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

PROJECT CANCELLED

4. The Institute on Human Rights of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan had planned to create a library bringing together human rights publications. Owing to the lack of other funding sources, the applicant was only able to produce a book on national institutions on human rights in the Azeri language. The book defends the idea of the creation of an ombudsperson in the country to monitor the human rights situation. The book is described as a first step towards the creation of the library; it was widely acclaimed in the academic community and was also presented to the national authorities at their request.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,990

Burundi

1. The Observatoire Burundais des Prisons conducted a country-wide study of living conditions in the country’s 11 prisons. The results were presented in a report that served as a basis for discussion with the relevant partners (mostly other NGOs) and the authorities. The visits to the prisoners highlighted human rights violations and abuses occurring in Burundi prisons which were reported to the courts. After the presentation of the report, the applicant decided to carry out periodical unannounced visits to prisons to assess improvements in living conditions.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

2. The Association pour la Paix et les Droits de l'Homme-Ngozi (APDH) organized a human rights song contest in remote areas of the country. The prizewinning songs were then recorded on audiocassette and performed on many occasions in the villages. Songs are one of the best means of reaching grassroots communities where many people are illiterate. According to the NGO report, the activity enabled many people to reveal human rights abuses that they suffer.

Allocated grant: US$2,200

3. The Club des Jeunes pour la Promotion des Droits de l'Homme (CJPDH) wrote and performed a play on inter-ethnic violence and peaceful cohabitation. The play was performed in Ngozi and Bujumbura before 516 people, including 322 children. An evaluation form was circulated after each performance to explore the good and weak points of the play and to evaluate its impact on the spectators. In the evaluation the issues raised were described as crucial and the solutions proposed by the play for addressing conflicts met with full approval. It was also the first opportunity for most of the audience to hear about human rights. The play is still being performed throughout the country, thanks to the working relations established with the national authorities.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

4. The Association Dufashanye de Kinindo (ADUKI), headed by a woman doctor, organized a two-day workshop on the reproductive rights of women. Thirty-eight women participated in an experience-sharing discussion and received training.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

5. The Union des Personnes Handicapées du Burundi organized five workshops in Bujumbura and its suburbs on the rights of persons with disabilities. The workshops provided an opportunity for many disabled persons to speak out about their daily problems and to become aware of their basic rights and means to enforce them. The outcome of the discussions was summarized and submitted to the relevant national authorities in the form of a law proposal for better protection of the social rights of the disabled.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,900

Cambodia

1. The Khmer Buddhist Society in Cambodia conducted six training courses for 214 Buddhist monks from 1 February to 30 April 2001 in three rural provinces of Cambodia. The following issues were addressed: human rights and Buddhism, international law, domestic law, procedures to protect human rights, the rule of law, free and fair elections, etc. The trained monks were then able to reach and teach more than 10,000 people at the grassroots level in their villages.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

2. The Cambodia Labour Rights Development Organization organized human rights and labour law training sessions for 62 workers, mainly women, from three factories in Phnom Penh from November 2000 to February 2001. The working conditions in the factories are known to be among the worst there are; 30 per cent of those attending were illiterate, and it was a challenge for the NGO to address human rights and law issues in this context. The outcomes of the project, besides the knowledge gained from the training sessions, are: the establishment of two independent trade unions in two of the three visited factories (the grant recipient helped in the election procedure) and training of the participants in peaceful negotiation skills.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

3. The Human Rights Protection and Rural Development Association trained 267 civilians in remote areas of Cambodia from December 2000 to February 2001. Local authorities were invited to send civil servants to attend the training sessions; as a result, these civil servants were able to train their peers under the supervision of the grant recipient.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

4. The Khmer Development Organization trained 138 persons living in villages in the Krong Pisey district between December 2000 and March 2001. The discussions, workshops and lectures focused on the UDHR, women's rights, children's rights, kidnapping and trafficking in persons, and procedures to ensure respect for human rights. Through these activities, the grant recipient distributed human rights education materials, involved the participants in discussions of human rights violations that occur in their lives, and encouraged them to learn more about human rights and democracy.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

5. The Association of Rural Agricultural Development and Liberal Democracy of Cambodia organized training sessions between January and March 2001 for 270 girls aged under 18 from different sectors of Phnom Penh. On completion of their training, the young women were able to go back to their communities and train other women of their own age as well as younger and older women.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,000

Colombia

1. The Corporación Colectivo de Comunicaciones will produce two series of six radio programmes and four 15-minute TV-programmes on children's and women's rights. The programmes will be broadcast by the School Radio Corporation of the region (10 counties), which is severely affected by the armed conflict.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

PROJECT CANCELLED

2. The Corporación para el Desarrollo del Oriente – COMPROMISO – organized a meeting on community justice and conflict resolution involving 76 judges, lawyers and conciliators from all cities of the Santander region. The participants discussed how to improve the human rights situation and the rule of law in judicial proceedings. The meeting also provided an opportunity for experience-sharing on best practices in conflict prevention. A representative of the Colombian office of OHCHR attended.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Corporación Escuela de Mujeres Cartagena de Indias – CEMCI – organized theatre performances and 24 workshop sessions, including film shows, targeted at internally displaced children aged 7 to 12 and their parents in the Cartagena de Indias region.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. The Diocesis de Tibú will organize three workshops, involving civil servants and women, and a workshop for children aged 10 to 14. The applicant will also produce a booklet on human rights issues to be distributed in three schools in Tibú city; 420 persons should benefit directly from these activities.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

PROJECT CANCELLED

5. The Comité Local de Derechos Humanos – CODHUCA – trained 46 internally displaced women head of families in the Guaduas and Carretera regions in basic human rights issues (such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, etc) and the mechanisms for human rights protection, drawing on the main relevant international treaties and Colombian constitutional law. The training sessions took place in four one-day workshops and focused on serving as a catharsis for the women to relate their experiences.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Croatia

1. The Centre for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychological Assistance (Vukovar) prepared radio programmes on human rights as described in international standards, focusing on women's and children's rights. Sixteen programmes were broadcast during one month on two popular radio stations. The themes were: presentation of the individual articles of the UDHR, presentation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, presentation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, presentation of human rights protection mechanisms, and presentation of the role of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights. The grant recipient reports that the number of phone calls received by their offices increased sharply during and after the broadcasting of the programmes. On the one hand, people wanted more information about their basic rights, and, on the other, the NGO had an opportunity to learn about human rights violations.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Civic Initiative Centre (Porec) raised awareness of children's rights in all schools and local institutions in Porec county (Istria) by: informing children and teachers about human rights through interactive lectures; evaluating children’s understanding of human rights through their paintings and drawings; and printing and distributing selected paintings and drawings. Ten child-related rights were chosen by the NGO representatives for presentation and discussion with the children. The grant recipient reports that “although human rights form part of school curricula, involving an NGO in the process gives more content and depth to the programmes.”

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Association of Human Rights and Citizens’ Freedom set up an information centre for the promotion and protection of human rights in the municipality of Srb (Zadar county), especially for returnees. Its aim was to help them, to inform them about their rights, to lobby the authorities, to increase the number of returnees, and to generate awareness of the living conditions and property rights of returnees. Basic humanitarian aid (clothes, food) given by citizens of Istra county was distributed to 36 families. Among 78 lawsuits related to returnees' rights, 63 persons received legal assistance from the applicant. The lobbying activities were a key issue: the NGO met with the President of Croatia, with many national and local authorities, and with representatives of intergovernmental bodies and of the Japanese Government. Partnerships were also established with other NGOs.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. The Association MI (Split) organized three meetings and a four-day workshop on issues related to minority and returnees' rights. All the activities involved representatives of various NGOs active in the region but also representatives of the local authorities and the OSCE. All those invited came from war-affected communities of Croatia. The success of the discussions led to the establishment of a working-group, which now meets on a regular basis.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,800

5. The Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights (Osijek) produced, printed and distributed leaflets and brochures on basic human rights to women, children, retired people, Croatian defenders, returnees, refugees and minorities. The focus was on the European system of protection of human rights. More than 5,000 people received a brochure and each person was asked to share the information with his/her friends, families, etc. The NGO reports that “the majority of young people are very badly informed or not informed at all about conscientious objection”, an issue raised during the activities.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,900

Democratic Republic of the Congo

1. The Theatre Company Les Béjarts performed a play, free of charge, on basic human rights themes in various parts of Kinshasa-city: the right to life, the right to peace, the right to education, the rule of law, etc. The 10 performances, attended by more than 2,500 people, were covered by local media. The NGO representatives stated that theatre is a good way of reaching illiterate people at the grassroots level; moreover, the cathartic element of acting was described and perceived as crucial for children and young adults who suffered as a result of the conflict.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,870

2. The Initiative de Développement de l'Entreprenariat Féminin (IDEF) conducted a sensitization campaign on human rights in suburbs of Kinshasa in the Lingala language, focusing on women's rights: the grant recipient organized a 15-day training session for women, during which a videotape was shown and discussed. The discussions were based on pictures quoting articles of the UDHR and illustrating abuses and violations of women's human rights. Printed materials were also distributed: T-shirts, leaflets, stickers, etc. More than 200 women were reached directly by the campaign, but men were also involved. Almost all participants were illiterate and the idea of using pictures was described as an appropriate way of addressing human rights issues and stimulating debate. The picture modules were translated into local languages.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Groupe Jérémie organized a one-week training workshop for 17 human rights activists on how to use e-mails and human rights and development resources available on the Internet.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. AJournaliste en Danger@ organized a training workshop on freedom of expression and its limits in the remote area of Western Kasai. International standards were presented and open discussions held. Forty-three persons from both the private and public sectors attended: they included journalists, the Governor of the province in which the activities took place and judges. The provincial political and administrative authorities pledged to refrain from harassing journalists in their daily work and investigations.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,870

5. The Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme organized various activities to raise human rights awareness among children. Conferences, workshops, popular courses, etc. were implemented, mostly in schools, and enabled the NGO to reach more than 900 children throughout the country as well as adults (teachers, police officers, parents). The NGO representative reported that some school principals were unwilling to hold human rights activities in their establishment.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,990

El Salvador

1. The Organización Defensa de los Niños Internacional produced a collection of audiocassettes containing ten fairy tales addressing ten children's rights. Children wrote the texts under the supervision of the NGO. The materials were distributed in schools and promoted on radio stations through the communication network working on children's issues.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho conducted a variety of activities in the framework of the project “De Joven a Joven: Promoción Municipal de Derechos Humanos desde y para la Juventud”. Training materials were designed, produced and distributed during seven training sessions. The training sessions involved 38 young people (18 females and 20 males aged 13 to 24) and were aimed at informing and educating the participants about basic human rights issues. Six human rights youth centres were then established in six different towns (one in the capital, the other five in remote areas). The purpose of the centres is to: promote human rights at the local level, to provide duplicate training with other young persons, to monitor the human rights situation at the local level, to document and report each month on human rights abuses that occurred in the region, and to give legal advice. All of these mandates have to be conducted in liaison with the local authorities, who welcomed the initiative.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Fundación Olof Palme organized several theatre performances involving children of two plays on children's rights, especially those of working children, focusing on the rights of the girl child. The performances were attended by about 500 people, including 300 children, in 8 schools throughout the country. The shows were followed by round-table discussions at which both children and adults discussed the issues raised in the plays. The NGO reports that two theatre groups have been set up and are planning to write and perform another play.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,800

4. The Asociación de Victimas de Violaciones a los Derechos Humanos de El Salvador is a country-wide NGO working on human rights advocacy and capacity-building. The project aims at consolidating the NGO’s work in publicizing human rights violations in the country and in the area of legal aid.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

PROJECT CANCELLED

5. The Comité de Madres y Familiares Cristianos de Presos, Desaparecidos y Asesinados Padre Octavo Ortiz (COMAFAC) organized a training session for 26 women, 3 men and 18 children from a small town, focusing on the rights of children, women and the elderly as well as on human rights protection mechanisms. A key achievement is the establishment of a human rights committee in the city, which will work with the community's authorities in assessing and monitoring human rights in the region. The city has one of the highest rates of human rights abuse in the country. The area covered may seem narrow but this is a pilot initiative; if the outcome is positive, similar initiatives will be conducted in other towns.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

1. Mr. Jovan Despotovic organized art exhibitions in 10 towns of Serbia over a four-month period. The main painter represented was Mr. Bogoljub Arsenijevic-Maki, the imprisoned leader of huge anti-regime protests in 1999 in Valjevo. More than 20,000 persons were able to see the works of art; each showing was followed by round-table discussions addressing human rights issues such as freedom of expression. The events received wide coverage in the independent media.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

2. The Committee for Human Rights in Montenegro conducted an expert seminar on human rights and the status of convicted persons. The media covered the whole event and many conclusions of the gathering have already influenced the public and, as everyone agreed, should be taken into consideration in a necessary reform of the legal system.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

3. EKOCENTAR (Centre for Socio-Ecological Research and Documentation), based in Belgrade, trained trainers, mainly biology teachers, to conduct workshops in five primary and secondary schools in the suburbs of Belgrade to promote the right to a healthy life and environment. A total of 180 pupils participated in the project whose main topics were: ecology, addiction and AIDS. The project was particularly significant because it was carried out in schools, places in which activities connected with the civil sector or international organizations were basically prohibited under the former regime.

Allocated grant: US$ 750

4. The NGO “SOS – Hotline for Women and Child Victims of Violence”, located in Montenegro, invited women from the rural area of Pluzine to a seminar and four educational workshops. Issues such as domestic violence, human rights, children's rights, etc. were addressed. All the women expressed great interest in and curiosity about the subjects and were very active, particularly during discussions of traditional models of different gender roles.

Allocated grant: US$ 750

5. The Civic Reading Room AApostrophe@, located in Nis, is one of the few groups in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that is actively engaged in the collection and dissemination of existing human rights education materials and the provision of NGO training free of charge. The project identified 30 librarians from primary and secondary schools in the region and organized a one-day seminar on human rights. The OHCHR field office in Belgrade reported: ADue to the personal commitment and vision of this group, we are jointly working on a draft of a much bigger project, which would be implemented in 70 schools in south-east Serbia and would involve teachers and pupils in discussions on concrete actions to enhance the quality of life in their local communities. OHCHR agreed to liaise with the authorities and committed itself to providing lecturers for the seminars; the NGO is currently awaiting Ministry of Education feedback on the draft project.@

Allocated grant: US$ 500

6. The Council for Human Rights in South Serbia will organize a one-week “legal clinic” for persons who have suffered, and still suffer, physical damage but also damage to property from past and ongoing human rights violations in the region of Bujanovac. According to the head of the OHCHR office in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, “This municipality bordering Kosovo continues to be a ‘hot spot’ of human rights abuses. Many of its residents have fled to Kosovo. It has no international presence, no NGO presence and only incipient development of civil society. The teachers and others who have formed this informal association are just starting a human rights group, but the documentation they have produced on human rights developments within the area is of high quality and they have reached out to groups the region, regardless of ethnicity, for assistance and expertise.”

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

PROJECT CANCELLED

7. The House of Culture in Presevo supported a monthly bulletin in Albanian, the only medium in this language in the area: 4 issues of 1,000 copies each were produced and addressed the role of NGOs in the democratization process, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Federal Ministry for National Minorities, and AIDS-related issues.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,250

8. A library in Prijepolje, which already received an award under the pilot phase of the ACT Project, was able to purchase new books thanks to the grant and also organized panel discussions on “Language and Gender” and “Language and Interethnic Communication”, events that were well attended by young people.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

9. The Timok Club mobilized young people in an open competition for short literary works and paintings on the topic “The Young Have Rights Too”. A TV spot was produced to announce the competition and 3,000 flyers explaining in simple language children's rights and State's obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were distributed widely. The NGO reports: “We learned that young people are creative and ready to help; all we need to do is ask.”

Allocated grant: US$ 750

10. The Women's Safe House, located in Belgrade, proposes a two-day training session with local police in the Savski commune of Belgrade. The following issues will be addressed: current NGO activities aimed at protecting women against any form of violence; violence against women as a social phenomenon; dynamics and procedures for the elimination of violence; and how to recognize abused children. The training session will be moderated by a professor of philosophy, a medical doctor and a sociologist. Owing to the political changes, the project has been delayed, but the NGO and the OHCHR Office in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are confident that it will be implemented.

Allocated grant: US$ 750

PROJECT CANCELLED

11. The Sanjak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedom, based in Novi Pazar, will organize a round-table discussion on civil society in the region, involving more than 30 human rights activists, social workers, lawyers, etc. from the region. The aim is to design ways and means to draw attention to problems that could lead to conflict and to overcome such obstacles to peace.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

PROJECT CANCELLED

12. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Sandzak conducted an awareness-raising campaign on human rights in general. A video-clip inviting citizens to report on cases of human rights violations was produced and broadcast twice a day for three weeks. Two other round tables were organized and covered by the local media, in which participants could freely express their concerns.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

13. The Civic Forum, an NGO located in Novi Pazar, conducted an awareness-raising campaign in the region on the rights of disabled children. A piano concert was also organized and a TV set was given to a school.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

14. Radio Panorama, which is active in the remotest areas of Montenegrin Sandzak, produced 24 radio programmes that were broadcast weekly for six months. The following issues were addressed: violations of human rights, freedom of religion, individual and collective rights, rights of ethnic groups, etc.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

15. The Creative Centre LOGOS presented a project aimed at supporting their general activities (human rights education, sensitization campaigns, workshops, production of leaflets and brochures on specific human rights issues).

Allocated grant: US$ 500

16. The Committee for Protection of Roma Human Rights in Yugoslavia, which opened several information centres throughout the country, conducted a project aimed at informing Roma people about their basic human rights and at representing them in legal proceedings. The project also offered social services to applicants from the Roma minority. The NGO is the only one providing legal aid to Roma people in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

17. The NGO Women's Studies and Creativity organized training sessions, workshops and experience-sharing debates on human rights for women trade union activists. The issues addressed were: women's rights, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, economic and social rights, international and national instruments for the protection of such rights, the economic dependence of women, women and poverty, comparative legal experience.

Allocated grant: US$ 750

18. The Committee for Human Rights of Nis organized a literacy contest on the topic “Human Rights: My Family and I” involving pupils from three elementary schools. The project succeeded in introducing practical human rights themes to children from rural communities, who have often been neglected by existing initiatives. All participants were given the “ABCD of Human Rights” booklet and the NGO’s flyers, and 15 were awarded a one-year English language course.

Allocated grant: US$ 500

19. New Horizon, an NGO located in an Albanian-populated town in Montenegro, organized a workshop on women's rights. Participants were able to speak about various violations of their rights. The human rights described in and protected by the main United Nations treaties were presented by lawyers working on these issues.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,000

Guatemala

1. The Organización de Apoyo a una Sexualidad Integral Frente al SIDA (OASIS) organized a series of human rights awareness activities, based on a “train-the-trainers” approach, for 36 people from NGOs working on sexual orientation issues through workshops, networking and experience-sharing forums. The project is described as having failed to achieve all the goals set at the outset. As a result, 60 per cent of the grant was returned to OHCHR.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

2. The Asociación Guatemalteca para la Prevención y Control de SIDA (AGPCS) organized six workshops for people living with HIV/AIDS and medical personnel on human rights and confidentiality in the context of HIV/AIDS.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

3. The Asociación Guatemalteca para la Prevención y Control de SIDA (AGPCS) – Proyecto “La Sala” – organized two workshops and a meeting on women's rights, children's rights and human rights in general targeted at women sex-workers. During these activities, in which 237 women participated, more than 2,000 information materials were reproduced and distributed thanks to the grant. The grant recipient established cooperative relations with the national women's rights institution to raise awareness among female sex workers of accessibility of rescue facilities, complaints of violations of their basic rights, and prevention of such violations. The NGO representative reported that the women learned a great deal about their rights and would come back to the NGO.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

4. The Asociación de Estudiantes Universitarios “Oliverio Castañeda de León” planned to strengthen human rights among the student community as a contribution to the peace-consolidating process throughout the country. The grant recipient designed an eight-year action plan, to be updated each year, on the inclusion of human rights activities in student association programmes. A total of 138 leaders of such associations participated in the meetings and workshops and more than 10,000 students were reached.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

5. Thanks to the grant, the Asociación de Amigos del Desarrollo y la Paz reproduced brochures and leaflets (3,500 copies) on basic human rights and on the procedures for complaining about violations. The materials were distributed in Alta Verapaz county.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

Liberia

1. Liberia Prison Watch conducted seven visits to Bong and Margibi counties to monitor the human rights situation and to raise awareness of the rights of prisoners and detainees among rural communities and members of the criminal justice system. Three meetings were also organized with court officers and security and county officials, during which issues such as the right to a fair trial, legal counsel, torture, etc. were addressed. Information materials were also distributed. The following results were noted at the end of the project: food rations have been improved, cooperation with the ICRC has been strengthened, proper record systems have been established and the courts have begun reviewing their files in order to bring inmates awaiting trial to court so as to reduce the problem of prolonged detention and overcrowding. However, many conditions of detention still need to be changed.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,970

2. “Liberian United for Democracy in Africa” organized seminars, workshops and the distribution of materials for indigenous people to raise awareness about the sassywood ordeal system ‑ the placement of a burning metal object on a suspect's body to induce confession in a criminal investigation – and other native ordeals. A meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Justice, government officials, representatives of the National Bar Association and other actors was organized to address these issues.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,530

3. Liberia National Democracy Monitors (LINDEM) carried out a number of activities. They broadcast an 82-lesson radio programme, in English and local languages, designed to teach, interpret and explain the Liberian Constitution and some cardinal principles of democracy. The programme was on the air for 15 minutes every Thursday and Friday. The grant recipient reproduced the country's Constitution in ten lessons for Liberian grade schools and community-based civic discussion forums. Owing to a lack of resources, the NGO cannot meet the large demand for copies of the book from numerous schools. LINDEM also provided two-day in-house orientation training for 60 civic moderators who learned how to teach the country’s new Constitution. Representatives of the Ministry of Education viewed it as a constructive initiative. Two workshops were also organized on issues such as the rule of law, citizenship, citizens’ obligations to the State, gender equality, etc. A total of 240 persons participated in the workshops. The NGO representatives reported that OHCHR should consider long-term support for civil society in Liberia and should also envisage the setting-up of an Office in Liberia for that purpose.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

4. Liberia Democracy Watch implemented a three-month civic and human rights education programme targeting high schools. The project focused on teaching of the Liberian Constitution, emphasizing fundamental rights encompassing a range of political, economic and social rights as well as the right to a fair trial. It also provided information about international instruments for the protection of human rights. Approximately 1,000 teenagers were reached and had the opportunity to express, for the first time, their views on human rights issues during seminars, workshops and round-table discussions. The evaluation questionnaires that the NGO circulated at the end of the sessions, and which the attendees had to fill in, showed the interest of the targeted population in human rights and their wish to see human rights education becoming an integral part of the overall education system.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

5. The Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights trained newspaper staff in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, conducted field activities involving, for example, interviews and photographs of children, and organized meetings attended by the general public and State representatives. As a result, many articles were published in different newspapers throughout the country, and several copies were distributed to prison officials, members of the police, etc. The grant recipient stated that it was very important for the children to be interviewed in order to express their wishes and concerns about their rights and situation.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

6. The Forerunners of Children's Universal Rights for Survival, Growth and Development (FOCUS) trained 20 local volunteers, who then conducted 12 weekly awareness sessions with 6 pilot community groups on children's rights, during which materials were distributed. This initiative was carried out in all parts of the country. It led to the inclusion of child-related issues in the communities' agenda and to the setting-up of a discussion group involving NGO representatives and government officials on the issue of the “bush school” (in the Sande and Poro societies) and the situation of the girl child. There was also a commitment to set up a child rights monitoring committee at country level to report on and discourage cases of child abuse. The need for community child rights advocates to carry out sustained community advocacy was also stressed.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

7. AVoice of the Future@ organized two workshops on the role of girls in advocating and promoting the rights of the girl child (themes addressed: teenage pregnancy, HIV prevention). About 60 girls attended these events which were facilitated by representatives of the NGO, UNICEF and WHO. At the end of the workshops, a 12-point resolution was adopted and presented to the relevant government agencies. The grant recipient also established 15 human rights youth clubs, with more than 1,300 members, in selected schools in three counties.

Allocated grant: US$ 1,500

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

1. The Women’s Organization of Sveti Nikole organized eight one-day workshops on women's rights and domestic violence involving more than 200 women from different villages as well as representatives of the local police and of the justice and social aid authorities. Printed leaflets and brochures were distributed. The local media were invited to report on the meetings and the TV channel MTV broadcast a 30-minute programme on the workshops on 24 February 2000. The NGO reported that Awomen expressed their need for more workshops on other subjects such as problems related to drugs, AIDS, alcohol, cancer, etc.@

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Civil Society Resource Centre established 10 human rights clubs in 10 schools throughout the country. The centres conducted training seminars, distributed materials (15,000 copies of the UDHR in Macedonian and 10,000 in Albanian) and organized conferences. Information on the European system of human rights protection was also provided. A total of 242 high school students participated in the project. The NGO representative reported: “The results are more positive than we expected... the motivation of young people to undertake concrete activities in their own areas has increased... Another long-term benefit is that new clubs are being established. Motivated by these clubs, young people from other schools in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia expressed their intention to set up clubs in their own schools.”

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. Ms. Margarita Matlievska organized an open competition for lyrics and music for the “children's hymn” and produced a CD containing the “children's hymn” and songs related to respect for children's rights in several languages. Copies of the CD were sent to intergovernmental organizations, embassies and NGOs present in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

4. The Association for Citizens’ Tolerance and Cooperation among Citizens of the City of Prilep (AGTIS) organized a general consultation on women's and children's rights. The meetings involved various actors from the private sector (human rights activists, lawyers, decision makers, etc) and from the public sector (representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Health, etc.). Representatives of the World Health Organization were also present. A questionnaire on domestic violence was circulated during the meetings. This cross-sectoral approach led to a more constructive dialogue between all partners on human rights issues at country level. The question of establishing an SOS-line for women and child victims of violence was raised and action was taken to that end.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

5. The Association of Women Senior Citizens (AVeteranki@) established a weekly working group for a period of three months involving NGO representatives, international NGOs, academics and representatives of the national authorities to address issues related to elderly people, especially their economic, social and cultural rights. People of the following origin attended: Macedonian, Roma, Albanian, Serb and Turkish. A constructive dialogue was established between the NGO representatives and the authorities, and research and assessment missions will be conducted through the regular working group established as a result of the grant-funded activities. The grant recipient also planned a picnic for elderly people on 8 May 2000, grandmothers’ day in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The situation of the elderly in the country is a subject of considerable concern because of their precarious living conditions and their status in society.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Malawi

1. Mr. Linje Patrick Manyozo produced a television documentary in English on child labour in the Thyolo tea and coffee plantations. The project examined, during a sixteen-day research project in the field, the causes, effects and impact on the children themselves and on the economy and public health as a whole. The documentary stressed the children’s harsh working conditions and the difficulty of establishing their age owing to the lack of birth registration in the area. It established a connection between the AIDS pandemic and child labour: as many adults have died of AIDS, children are forced to find a job to earn a living. The documentary also proposed ways of eradicating such practices. The grant applicant is in contact with policy-makers and law-enforcers to observe progress in addressing the issue.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Women's Voice project was aimed at training trainers through forums, seminars and workshops on human rights issues such as gender inequality, property grabbing, sexual harassment and domestic violence, but also more general issues such as principles of democracy. During the training sessions, reading and sensitization materials and the Constitution of Malawi were distributed. The trained trainers were in turn able to train more than 550 women by the end of August 2000. The activities took place in Mchinji and Mzuzu, rural areas in which women are usually unaware of their basic rights.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. Youth Net and Counselling trained teachers and pupils, adopting a “peer education” approach, in workshops in the Namiwawa Zone (rural district of Zomba), during which human rights education materials were distributed. The following issues were addressed: general children's rights, relevant provisions of the national Constitution, sexual relations between teachers and pupils, punishment in schools, cultural rites and reproductive rights (given the AIDS pandemic in the region). Schools were then asked to set up human rights youth committees to discuss the problems addressed and to designate a focal point to deal with any allegation/issue.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,600

4. The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) developed activities aimed at improving knowledge about human rights in the Karonga and Salima Districts (remote areas of the country): establishment of human rights clubs and organization of an awareness campaign on human rights violation reporting mechanisms. Members of the applicant NGO formed part of the clubs and trained each participant on how to integrate human rights education into social life in rural areas of the country.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

5. The Association of Progressive Women designed and implemented two workshops in Waluma and Kasongo (Phalombe District). Forty participants attended the workshops: they included the District Officer for Agriculture, the Group Village Head, agricultural field advisors, women leaders and members of the grant recipient. The main issues addressed were: the right to food, the right to life, the right to education, children's rights, women's rights. The main achievement of the activity is the training of female trainers, who will pass on the lessons they have learned in their villages and communities. Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Mongolia

1. One World – Children's Organization organized informal educational training, workshops, discussions, competitions and quizzes in Aimag and Soums rural counties to present children's basic rights to schoolchildren from 11 schools and to adults. The main issues addressed were: the right to education, the right to health and freedom to stay with their families. The targeted audiences were: poor children, street children and children with disabilities (an art fair was organized to present works of art produced by disabled children). The applicant also established human rights youth clubs in some of the schools visited; the clubs will be managed by the NGO. Another activity was the broadcasting of radio programmes on the right to development and children's rights.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,700

2. Amnesty International Mongolia translated Amnesty International’s Teachers’ Book for the Dissemination of Human Rights and distributed 500 copies to 71 institutions, including public libraries, schools, NGOs and human rights organizations. Seminars were organized on “Training teachers to teach about human rights and responsibilities in primary school”. A total of 138 teachers attended the sessions. The grant recipient reported that “the successful distribution of the book means that there is a need to conduct more seminars and workshops throughout the countryside. Many teachers expressed a desire for follow-up work and a further input on delivery of the human rights curriculum.”

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Centre for Citizenship Education translated into Mongolian, published and distributed the UNESCO brochure “All human beings... Manual for Human Rights Education”. A total of 500 copies were produced. As a follow-up to the project, the grant recipient organized workshops to disseminate the manual to target audiences (teachers at primary and secondary schools, students, NGOs, etc.).

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. The Centre for Human Rights and Development developed the first “national human rights record”, which highlights existing problems both in legislation and in practice. It also includes an annex commenting on the consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Committee at its fifty-sixth session of the fourth periodic report of Mongolia on domestic compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Twenty-two persons took part in the research. According to the NGO, as the compilation is in Mongolian, it is accessible to a large number of people. Moreover, the report should serve as a tool for human rights education and advocacy throughout the country for NGOs, lawyers, human rights activists, etc. Another achievement highlighted by the grant recipient is that its human resources gained capacity-building skills.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

5.Globe International organized a one-day seminar for six women journalists working for six daily newspapers. The project also involved new weekly columns in daily newspapers in cooperation with two specialized lawyers on violations of women's and children's rights. Potentially, more than 5 million readers throughout the country had a chance to be informed of their basic rights through the newspapers. Two hundred copies of a handbook, including educational materials on women's and children's rights issues, were published. The grant recipient reported that the trained journalists now have a sound knowledge of children's and women's basic rights and that they can address these issues in future articles. Moreover, UNICEF reacted positively to the project and agreed to support the trained journalists through further training and international meetings.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Occupied Palestinian Territory

1. The General Union of Disabled Palestinians conducted a TV sensitization campaign on the rights of persons with disabilities through two talk-shows broadcast on a Palestinian channel in December 2000 and January 2001. The main issues addressed were the right of disabled people to an accessible environment, the right of disabled women to work, the right of disabled children to education, and the right of the hearing-impaired to have access to a sign language interpreter in major public institutions. The ACT Task Force representative in Gaza stated: “There is a relatively high incidence of disability in Palestine as a result of physical and psychological experiences under the occupation. The project is community-sensitive and serves a worthy human rights purpose which is otherwise receiving little attention.” The NGO representatives reported: “We think that we raised awareness about people with disabilities and that we educated decision makers about specific rights of the disabled; we also motivated media facilities to pay more attention to the disabled, and, above all, we offered a platform for people with disabilities to speak out about their rights.”

Allocated grant: US$3,000

2. The Palestinian Centre Against Violence addressed issues related to the rights of children within their families. Three workshops were held in three different places in the Jabalia Camp, North Zone, in autumn 2000. The audience was composed of 60 children (aged 12 to 15) and their parents. The aim of the project was to develop communication skills within families and to promote respect for children's rights. Printed materials such as leaflets, brochures and T-shirts reflecting the substance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Arabic language were distributed. After the workshops, 10 “children human rights activists” were chosen to follow up the results of the discussions and report to the applicant on a monthly basis.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

3. Eljawzaa Educational Centre addressed children's and young women's rights in the El-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza strip, where more than half of the total population (90,000 persons) are aged under 18. A total of 132 training course hours were provided on how to prevent physical and psychological violence against children and women. The courses were given by the applicant's representatives to 70 children, dozens of young women of marriageable age and young husbands. As a result of the courses, a working group was established to propose changes in mentalities and in local legislation.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

4. The Culture and Free Thought Association organized eight workshops and an art exhibition on children's and women's rights in remote areas of the region. A training course on these issues for new employees of the NGO was also conducted. The workshops, which consisted of plays, discussions, sketches, etc., were attended by a total of 350 children aged 6 to 14 (only 200 had been expected) and the issues addressed were all related to human rights in an Islamic context.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

5. The Green Peace Association's project addressed the issue of a safe environment as a fundamental right, including the right of children to live in clean and appropriate playing areas, the right to health, etc. The applicant produced a small book on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Arabic language, which was distributed to 500 pupils, organized community workshops and seminars on the right to a peaceful and clean environment, and produced promotional materials (such as posters, leaflets, etc), which were distributed in schools. The posters produced were based on a selection of five drawings by the winners of a competition among 30 students. The target audience for the general project were the children of a refugee camp in Deir El-Balah (Gaza Strip) and their mothers. The NGO representatives reported: “For most of the children involved, this was the first opportunity to learn about human rights and the environment in a simple language; it was also a chance for them to express their own ideas on how to protect the environment.”

Allocated grant: US$3,000

Togo

1. The Association Togolaise pour la Défense et la Promotion des Droits Humains created human rights corners in 8 high schools, 7 schools, 3 public libraries and the library of the grant-receiving NGO.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,800

2. The Centre de Promotion de l'Emploi et de l'Initiative Privée (CPEIP) published a comic strip presenting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to children and teenagers. More than 3,500 copies were distributed.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,300

3. Mr. Amissan Johnson organized seminars, debates and film shows on human rights in schools in Lomé. Materials on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights and the Constitution of Togo were distributed during the events, in which more than 1,500 persons took part. One issue specifically addressed by the grant recipient was the fact that some provisions of domestic law, such as that on polygamy, are contrary to international human rights standards.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. The NGO Amis des Enfants created plays on children's rights that were performed in schools in the Ewe language. The main issues addressed were: children's exploitation at the workplace, violence against children, trafficking in children, promotion of the status of the young girl. While the NGO expected about 400 children to see the plays, some 1,800 attended the performances and wanted to be part of the event. Faced with such demand, the authorities and the local NGO jointly decided that the plays should be performed again on 16 June 2000, the Day of the African Child.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,900

5. The singer Ayaovi Mensah and his musicians, who are all well-known throughout the country and even beyond its frontiers, produced, on a voluntary basis, a song on children's rights. The song focuses on “stick-based” education. The CD was launched at a ceremony attended by the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports and the Minister for Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000