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ACT Project, Phase 3 (2001-2003)

Project Implementation Report

I. Background

The “Assisting Communities Together” (ACT) Project, a joint OHCHR/UNDP initiative, has been in operation for six years. Since its inception in 1998, the primary purpose of the project has been to financially support activities aiming at promoting and protecting human rights at grass-roots level.

The present report reviews activities carried out under the third phase of the ACT Project (December 2001 – October 2003) and the lessons learned from this experience .

Compared to the previous phases, due to the increased resources available, the third phase of the ACT Project has seen an increase in the number of activities supported (see section 2: funding). A total number of 221 activities in 29 developing countries and countries in transition (see list in Annex 1) have been selected, among which 78 have received support from UNDP Country Offices and 143 from OHCHR.

For the third phase, the ACT Project has been implemented in 12 of the countries already selected under previous phases. 17 countries participated in it for the first time, among which Afghanistan , Burkina Faso , Comoros , Ethiopia , Samoa and Uzbekistan .

At the end of the third phase, OHCHR has received 104 activity reports out of the 143 activities it funded, i.e. 72.7 % of the total number (the other reports did not reach OHCHR due to various logistic and organizational reasons).

Table 1: OHCHR approved projects by region (2001–2003)

Region
Funds Allocated
(in USD)
% Distribution of total funds
Number of projects

Africa

172,593

31.3

41

Arab Region

27,955

5

6

Asia & Pacific

204,703

37

55

Latin America & the Caribbean

58,088

10.6

13

Europe & the CIS

88,770

16.1

25

Total

552,109

100

140

List of grants

Significantly represented among the beneficiaries of the ACT Project have been vulnerable individuals and communities such as victims of conflict, persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, women and children. Accordingly, project activities have predominantly focused on strengthening the participation and the capacity building of those groups.

Activities selected focused on human rights education/training, be this formal or non-formal, on issues linked with development (e.g. basic human rights sensitization campaigns for rural women leaders and workshops on HIV/AIDS, human rights and development) and on general educational initiatives (setting up human rights information centers). Out of the 104 activities whose reports have been reviewed, the areas/issues covered included (more details are provided in Table 2):

- racial discrimination and minority rights;
- promotion of a culture of peace and coexistence among different groups;
- human rights awareness-raising on selected topics;
- discrimination against persons with disabilities;
- women’s rights, violence against women and reproductive rights;
- human rights, health and ethics;
- human rights education in the school system;
- children’s rights;
- human rights in the administration of justice.

Table 2: Regional/Thematic Distribution of the 104 reported activities for the ACT Project - Phase 3 (2001-2003)

Issue
Region/Countries
Percentage of projects by issue
Number of projects

Racial Discrimination / Minorities Rights

Asia Pacific/ 2
Europe & CIS / 1

4.8

5

Promotion of a culture of peace, tolerance and coexistence among ethnic groups

Asia Pacific/4
LAC/1

9.5

10

Human Rights Awareness Raising on selected topics

Africa/ 5
Europe & CIS / 4
Asia Pacific/3
LAC/ 2

29.8

31

Rights of persons with disabilities

Arab Countries/1
Africa/1
Europe & CIS/1

3.8

4

Women’s rights, Violence against Women and Reproductive Rights

Africa / 6
Europe & CIS / 3
Asia Pacific/2
LAC/ 1

21.1

22

Human rights, Health (including HIV/AIDS) and Ethics

Africa/2
Asia Pacific/ 2

4.8

5

Human Rights Education in the School System
Africa / 2
LAC/ 2
Asia Pacific/ 1
Europe & CIS / 1
5.8
6
Children’s Rights
Africa/7
Arab Countries/1
Asia Pacific/ 1
LAC/ 1
Europe & CIS/ 1
14.7
15
Human Rights in the Administration of Justice
Africa/3
Europe & CIS /1
5.7
6

Regional Thematic Distribution

The project reports have highlighted, among others, the following positive outcomes:

- Greater understanding and acceptance of women’s rights and of women’s positive contribution to health, education and economic development;
- Increased awareness of children's rights;
- Development of new curricula by academic staff to enhance knowledge among students of human rights, peace and conflict resolution;
- Increased awareness of the consequences of unsafe sexual practices and of measures needed to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS;
- Improved understanding amongst primary, secondary and post secondary students of values such as mutual respect and coexistence among ethnic groups, measured through sample surveys.

II. Management and Funding

In order to improve the project’s management and efficiency, the structure of the project under the third phase has undergone changes, in comparison with the previous phases. The increased involvement of UNDP Country Offices has been promoted: additional funds have been committed by UNDP Country Offices to the ACT Project in their countries of operation so as to expand the geographical scope of the ACT Project. As a result, the third phase saw a large increase in the number of supported activities, 221 in 29 countries compared to 97 projects in 16 countries covered during the previous phase.

The involvement of UNDP Resident Representatives in the implementation and the funding of the ACT Project opened a new window of cooperation between OHCHR and UNDP, providing a new impetus to the ACT Project.

The third phase also benefited from the financial contribution of Carnegie Corporation of New York, provided to OHCHR for anti-discrimination activities. Thus, 28 projects covering human rights educational activities to combat racism and discrimination have been awarded grants in additional four countries (namely, Fiji , the Solomon Islands , Tonga and Vanuatu ).

Improvements were made in the management of funds by OHCHR Administration (in particular, through the move from the UNOPS to the UNOG management), which prompted to a more timely disbursement of funds and response to problems.

Finally, the amount of each grant (previously US$3,000 maximum) was increased to US $ 5000, since in most countries the original amount was not sufficient to cover the needs of grant recipients to complete their projects.

Strategic allocation of funds

OHCHR resources have been primarily allocated through a selection made at the national level. Like in the second phase, the selection of activities to be funded under the third phase took place in the field through the ACT Task Forces set up in the participating countries. The Task Forces are composed of OHCHR representatives (wherever applicable), UNDP representatives, other UN entities and in some cases members of civil society who provided useful inputs in the selection process . Some Task Forces also comprised of representatives of governmental entities.

It is noteworthy that the UNDP Country Offices in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mongolia went beyond their first commitment, by providing more funds than the US$15,000 initially envisaged.

III. Lessons learned

The third phase of the ACT Project has raised some issues of concerns that need to be addressed in the fourth phase of the Project.

First of all, logistical and coordination problems exist in the implementation process (out of the 28 grants awarded in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, only 10 activity reports have been received). This problem can be only partially addressed by OHCHR.

Secondly, the application packages to participate in the ACT Project were found not clear and insufficiently explanatory with respect to the administrative aspects of the project. Also, clear guidelines for budget presentation should be developed.

Failure to provide final evaluation forms at the completion of activities have undermined the accuracy of this Project Implementation Report and made the overall impact of the project more difficult to be assessed. More concerted efforts would be required to ensure continuous monitoring of the activities and of their evaluation.

The idea of directly approaching all UNDP Resident Representatives, through a joint appeal from OHCHR/UNDP Headquarters, encouraging their participation in the ACT Project, is one of the positive aspects emerging from the third phase and has led to the expansion of the geographical coverage of the ACT Project. This process has also encouraged many UNDP Offices to support community-run human rights initiatives. With regard to a certain number of countries, the ACT Project has been an entry point for further cooperation between UNDP Office and OHCHR.

The grant increase (from USD 3000 to USD 5000) has proven to be successful both in generating more tangible and sustainable results and in empowering and encouraging civil society organizations to consolidate and build upon achievements.

IV. Reports on implementation of activities

Racial Discrimination and Minority Rights  

In Tonga, the Tonga Community Development Trust conducted three theatre performances in order to raise people awareness on racial discrimination. Theatre performances on the above mentioned subject were played in twenty one schools and villages reaching out 4181 people. The audience showed openness and interest towards the dramas. Discussions and debate over discrimination were held at the end of each theatre performance and revealed that people were not always aware of existing racial discrimination attitudes to which minority communities are confronted in their daily life. Human rights awareness raising programs were also carried out in schools where students were invited to reflect on human rights issues and to submit articles for publication in the local youth magazine Le’o e Kaha’u (Voice of the future). The project reportedly has contributed towards improving and promoting tolerance among Tonga communities.

Catholic Women’s League conducted a four-day workshop aiming at raising people awareness on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Tonga. Issues addressed during the workshop included: principle standards of protection and care of the child, children’s rights, family responsibilities, and analysis of misconceptions on the CRC and CERD. Approximately forty three Tongans benefited from the training which was conducted in the Tongan language. They expressed eagerness to share and disseminate what they had learnt through the organization and planning of other training workshops. Participants also requested more information on specific articles of the conventions, expressing a growing interest in international human rights treaties. Further to the recommendations adopted during the workshop, the organization decided to conduct additional workshops on racial discrimination.

Pacific Concerns Resource Center conducted activities aiming at raising people awareness on racial discrimination in Fiji. The organization conducted a one-day seminar for student leaders and victims of racism and intolerance. Topics addressed during the seminar included: international human rights treaties, status of ratification to international human rights treaties and the Fiji Constitution. The seminar was attended by twenty five student’s leaders and five teachers from twelve secondary schools in Suva. At the conclusion of the seminar, a speak out project was organized with the purpose of providing a forum whereby young people could speak in public on their views about racism and intolerance. A multicultural group performed a drama depicting the inter-racial tensions and conveyed messages on the role of youth in the reconciliation process. The project received wide coverage on television and was broadcast on radio. Educational materials produced (calendars, posters, stickers) were distributed to schools in Suva. The project provided the opportunity for young people to learn that there is positive approach to resolve conflict without resorting to violence; it also encouraged young people to develop links and networking for peace. In order to ensure that the momentum and enthusiasm of young people are maintained, the organization planned to hold regular meetings to discuss other means of fundraising and membership drive for future sustainability.

The Human Rights Committee of Vranje organized three projections of the documentary “ Serbia – Year Zero” in South Serbia. The documentary addressed violations of human rights that the Albanian and the Roma minorities daily face. Each projection was attended by fifty people, and an open discussion with the film director and the NGO representative was organized after each projection.

The MinorityRightsCenter (MRC) in Belgrade, Serbia conducted a research on discrimination against Roma with a special focus on economic, social and cultural rights. The research, based on interviews with victims, workers, government officials, professors, psychologists, parents and children, covered mainly the cities of Belgrade, Nis, and Novi Sad. Investigations carried out by the MRC revealed that Roma were victims by illicit behavior of the police. Another issue of concern raised in the MRC research report lies in the lack of Romani’s official documents (such as identity cards, birth certificates, citizenship certificates) which has often led to social exclusion. The MRC also pointed out that lack of legal tenure renders the residents of Romani settlements vulnerable to forced evictions. The report documented dozens of forced evictions of Roma. Racial segregation of Roma is also widely reported in other areas, such as right to education . The research showed that a system of racially-segregated education effectively denied equal education to Roma. They reported that Romani children were over-represented in schools and placed in classes for the mentally disabled. Recommendations formulated at the end of the research study included: organizing training workshops for police officers and officials from justice administrations; developing educational programs for the general public concerning the nature of racism against Roma; adopting adequate laws and regulations for the protection of persons subject to forced evictions; amending curricula of primary and secondary schools so as to strengthen tolerance and mutual understanding among the communities in Serbia.

Promotion of a culture of peace, tolerance and coexistence among ethnic groups

The Fiji Community Education Association organized and conducted a four-day seminar aiming at conveying messages of tolerance and respect for Christians and non Christians among youth, church and community trainers in Fiji. Approximately 41 community leaders of different origins such as ethnic Fijians and members of Christian, Hindus and Muslims faiths participated in the seminar. Topics addressed during the seminar included: attitudes and strategies for working with people from different backgrounds and guidelines for reconciliation in Fiji. At the end of the seminar, participants were able to confront stereotyped beliefs about race and religion. They were also equipped with the necessary skills to conduct human rights training programmes. Recommendations adopted included the organization of training workshops and the development of programmes aiming at combating racism.

Virtues Project Fiji conducted workshops on tolerance, unity, justice and truthfulness for teachers, scholars and parents in selected schools of the Lautoka region in Fiji. Participants were invited to reflect on attitudes and behaviors towards racial discrimination. At the end of the workshop, evaluation results indicated that participants acquired greater understanding of racial attitudes and behaviors and that the project had a positive impact on students’ perception of respect. Teachers who actively participated in the workshop engaged themselves to duplicate the knowledge they acquired during the workshop and work with the material provided to continue building the same sense of tolerance, unity, justice and truthfulness for all students. Schools have been provided with a copy of the Education Guide elaborated by the organization. The project’s outcomes also revealed that just one teacher in school working intensively on one of the virtues disseminated during the workshop can bring tolerance, unity, justice and truthfulness into actions in the school community.

Tisi sangamconducted a project aiming at promoting tolerance, coexistence and multiculturalism: activities carried out included art performances in remote areas of the region so as to represent the multiculturalism and diversity of Fiji society. Thus, dance performances represented Indian classical dance, Indian folk dances, Fijian traditional dance, and Polynesian dance. Art performances were seen as a major tool for conveying message of peace and mutual understanding.

The Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific Vanuatu involved the two communities of Fresh Water and Paunagisu in the conception and the production of a 40-minute video, in the Bislama language, on “living together as different communities”. The video was distributed to school together with an information kit on anti-discrimination issues drafted by a curriculum writer.

Ecole Francaise de Port Villa conducted human rights education activities aiming at promoting a culture of tolerance and unity among the different communities living in Vanuatu. Projects included: organization of multicultural week at school where students and their parents signed a code of conduct against racism; translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into Bishlamar, English and French; organization of daily school quiz on the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with prize awarded to winners of the quiz; production of T-Shirts presenting faces of people from different origins living in Vanuatu, with a message aiming at combating racism. The school also organized art competition on tolerance. Students produced various materials such as: posters, postcards, songs, cross-words, plays and poems. Fifty winners were awarded prize. 500 hundred human rights calendars for the year 2003 displaying primary and secondary students’ best work were edited and printed. Students performed and recorded a song (in English, French and Bislama) on combating racism.

Vanuatu Association of Women Graduates conducted activities aiming at promoting respect and tolerance for ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity in Vanuatu. Main issues addressed the lack of tolerance towards expatriates married to ni-Vanuatu and children of mixed marriage. The organization produced a colorful poster entitled Cherishing Ethnic, Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and representing families with children of different backgrounds. It also conducted media campaigns to raise community awareness on the issue. Radio programmes reached many rural communities. Opportunities were taken to talk about the project during special events and celebrations such as the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the launch of the Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence. The poster was very well received and 1800 copies were distributed. The posters have been on display in schools, health centers, church buildings, municipal and governmental offices and raised further awareness of the need for cultural tolerance and diversity.

Bistaveos Production conducted a project aiming at raising people awareness on tolerance through the production by local young artists of song texts on tolerance and human rights in Vanuatu. The songs were taught to scholars of the region and recorded; in addition, video clips illustrating the songs were produced. At the end of the project, the organization disseminated 100 audio tapes, 100 video tapes to schools of the region.

The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tiapata in Samoa organized a series of awareness raising events on tolerance amongst the various communities of Samoa. As many as 16 seminars were held in July and August 2002, involving hundreds of pre-school, primary and secondary school students. A symposium addressing the issue of women in the Samoan culture was organized for 50 people in July 2002, with the participation of the Ministry of Women Affairs. A 30-day radio campaign on tolerance and prevention of xenophobic acts was also designed and broadcast in May 2003, and many articles were published in various newspapers of the country.

The Samoa National Teachers Association conducted a “training of trainers” project. In July 2002, the recipient organized a training workshop on human rights and prevention of intolerance amongst communities for 43 teachers representing the 22 local branches of the Association. The trained teachers conducted similar sessions for colleagues in their respective villages in Samoa.

The Association of Volunteer Teachers for Democracy, based in Kampot organized 24 courses on human rights issues from 6 December 2002 to 12 March 2003 in the Kampot Province, Cambodia. Approximately 225 women, 498 men, 41 monks, 653 farmers, 21 village chiefs and 6 commune counselors participated in interactive workshops addressing issues such as “living together”, “respecting others’ rights” and “expressing ideas and building leadership” . As a follow-up strategy to these activities, one representative was selected in each of the reached villages, to play the role of “watchdog” on the situation of human rights at the local level.

Human Rights Awareness Raising on selected topics

In Uzbekistan, the Uzbek Association of International Law produced and published citizens handling complaints guidelines for the use of community leaders. Approximately 550 copies were distributed with a legal awareness dictionary. The organization also established a legal clinic which provides legal assistance to citizens on issues such as property law, inheritance, workers compensation, and disseminated information on new Uzbek laws. A conference aiming at raising Makhallah leaders (community leaders) on improving and developing legal assistance and consultation to the citizens of the community was also organized and broadcast in Russian and Uzbek languages.

The Center for Democratic Initiatives organized a human rights training workshop aiming at strengthening skills and knowledge of civil society organizations of Urgut district in Samarkand region, Uzbekistan. Topics addressed during the workshop included concept and philosophy of human rights, overview of the United Nations human rights protection system, human rights treaty bodies, mandates and working methods of Special Rapporteurs, reporting and communication procedures. The training workshop also sought to provide a forum for participants to discuss the role of civil society in promoting and protecting human rights. At the conclusion of the training workshop, most participants expressed eagerness to share and disseminate what they had learnt through the organization and planning of other training workshops. As an outcome of the project and based on the training and discussion handouts, a human rights handbook was prepared and distributed among the participants. Follow up activities adopted at the end of the workshop included the drafting of communications with the assistance of the Urgut District Department of the Center for Democratic Initiatives.

The Afghanistan Commission for Human Rights conducted a human rights monitoring project in Kabul, Afghanistan during the period August 2002-January 2003. The recipient observed and reported on human rights violations/abuses occurred in Kabul with respect to the rights of prisoners, rights of returnees, situation of women with respect to early and forced marriage. The Afghanistan Commission for Human Rights developed working relationships with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (national institution), as well as with international media. The grant has thus enabled the recipient to gain in knowledge, and to improve its reporting skills.

The Afghan Professional Alliance for Minority Rights (APAMR) conducted in April 2003 a two-day training workshop on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Afghanistan, which was part of a general campaign for the follow-up to the ratification of the Rome Statute by the Afghanistan Transitional Administration. The audience was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, and representatives of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Attorney General Office, the Supreme Court, Faculty of Law, as well as NGOs’ representatives. During the session, an information folder was distributed and made available in local languages. APAMR also conducted two seminars on minority rights for local actors, and training on human rights for human rights defenders in Quetta ( Pakistan).

Liberty Centre held a training workshop for 20 human rights activists from rural areas in January 2003. Information and training materials were distributed, and issues such as methodologies for human rights education and judicial reform in Mongolia were presented and discussed. The NGO organized a 1-day tour for the participants to examine local initiatives to promote human rights: visit of a newspaper that regularly writes on human rights issues; meeting with NGOs active on women’s rights and children’s rights; discussions on fundraising strategies and visit of a free web space provider.

From November 2002 to March 2003, Globe International developed a project aiming at assisting 19 human rights NGOs in Mongolia and 6 daily newspapers in increasing public relations and conducting media campaigns. The following points were discussed: principles of public relations and media campaigns, publication of newsletters, video journalism and production of talk-shows, freedom of information and public participation, right to reply and other media-related legal issues. Globe International also distributed a handbook on how to conduct a media campaign.

Silaka organization designed and conducted a series of training workshops on decentralization, democracy and human rights for 98 community leaders from 25 villages of remote areas of the Chantrea district in Cambodia. As a result of the training, 25 village-networks were set up to follow-up on issues addressed. An awareness raising campaign on human rights issues and democracy was also discussed, designed and implemented in all represented villages: as many as 1425 villagers took part in the discussions.

Vocational Training for Alleviation of Poverty and Social Development, based in Chamkar Chek village, Cambodia conducted six 3-day training workshops for 190 (59 female, 131 male) local leaders, police officials and villagers of the Veal Veng district. Issues addressed during the workshop focused on: general human rights law, relevant provisions of the Cambodian legal system, children’s rights, women’s rights and democracy.

Khmer Development Organization conducted a series of small-scaled trainings from December 2002 to February 2003 in the Chulkiri district inCambodia, focusing on children’s rights, women’s rights, trafficking in persons, democracy and fair elections. Approximately 187 villagers, mostly women, benefited from the presentations.

Khmer Farmers Association held ten training workshops in human rights for 210 villagers from the Larvea em district in Cambodia. Issues such as women’s rights, children’s rights, human rights and Buddhism, democracy, peace, decentralization were addressed, as well as methodologies to address human rights issues at school and within the family. At the end of the sessions, a test on the knowledge gained showed very high results. As a follow-up strategy, the NGO decided to set up a network of representatives from each of the ten reached villages.

From 21 October to 23 December 2002, Khmer Serving the Poor Children, based in the Kandal Province, organized ten 1-day training workshops in the Kampong seu Province, Cambodia. As many as 212 women, 207 men, 77 girls and 29 boys benefited from presentations and received documentation on children’s rights and women’s rights. The NGO had to face the low level of literacy of the assistance, and managed to transmit human rights messages to people in need.

The Charm Khmer Islam Minority Human Rights and Development Association is an organization whose main objective is to improve awareness raising of basic human rights such as minority rights, children’s rights, women’s rights and democracy in Cambodia. The project conducted by the organization included the organization of 13 training sessions for community leaders and grass-roots activists in various part of the country on the above mentioned issues. Approximately 650 participants benefited from the training sessions.

The Human Rights Committee of Valjevo in Serbia and Montenegro conducted 4 workshops on the role and functions of Ombudsman institution, in which 40 people participated, mainly civil and municipalities’ clerks. A small media campaign was also conducted in order to sensitize local functionaries to the Ombudsman institution and to encourage the creation of such institution at the municipal level.

Media Aid conducted a human rights festival on the human rights day in a cultural centre for youth in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro: films and cartoons addressing human rights issues were shown, debates were organized, posters prepared for the human rights day were displayed, and a music concert took place. More than 200 young people directly benefited from these events.

The Youth Centre Postpessimists of Kotor in Serbia & Montenegro organized 12 workshops on general human rights issues for senior high school students (64 young women and 49 young men) of the Northern part of Montenegro. The NGO provided the participants with brochures and leaflets on the European Convention of Human Rights and its Protocols, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as materials on human rights. Participants were also encouraged to speak up about their experience on violence at , at school, and in their communities. The grant recipient reported that the students were surprised to learn about non-violent conflict resolutions and that they would duplicate the good examples learnt during the activities.

Ali Asllani, active on human rights issues in Pec, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, organized a series of multi-ethnic events to commemorate the human rights day on 10 December 2002. A competition co-organized with OHCHR, the Council of Europe and OSCE, took place and awards were attributed to the best proposals; music concerts were played; posters were designed and displayed. Several groups from various part of Kosovo (totaling 120 people) participated in the events, which received large media coverage.

Human Rights Office Tuzla produced and broadcast eleven radio programmes from August 2002 to February 2003, in the region of Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Issues such as constitutional law, property rights, trafficking in women were addressed. Representatives of municipal, executive and legislative authorities, representatives of NGOs, legal experts, judges and prosecutors took part in the debate. At the end of the radio broadcast, the NGO distributed questionnaires to 50 citizens, aged between 18 and 73 years, to evaluate the impact of the project. Only 2% answered that such programmes were not useful. The replies also showed a better understanding of the role of local authorities and the importance to respect democratic procedures for social change. The NGO also established an on-going partnership with the radio company which broadcast the programmes.

Civic Tracks, based in Bitola, Macedonia, released a multimedia CD-ROM, collecting 34 international and regional human rights documents both in English and in Macedonian; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was included in Albanian, Vlahs, Turkish, Serbian, Roma and French, as an acknowledgement of the multi-ethnic composition of the country. Approximately 1000 copies of the CD-ROM were distributed to municipalities, libraries, police departments, courts, media and schools. The NGO also organized workshops for NGOs, workers and members of trade unions, high school students, representatives of local government and journalists.

The Youth Movement for Peace and Non Violence conducted a project aiming at promoting human rights and non violence issues. A series of human rights awareness’ raising campaigns were organized in several regions of Sierra Leone. Activities carried out in Pujehun region, Moyamba, Kono, Kailahun and Porto Loko included: display of posters on human rights in strategic places of cities, organization of seminars with lectures on topics such as: knowing your rights and responsibilities, developing human rights advocacy skills, assessing respect of human rights in the community; HIV/AIDS and human rights, violence against women, arbitrary arrest and torture. Intensive sensitization exercices on human rights were organized in cooperation with local associations. Workshops addressed the following topics: rights, duties and responsibilities of citizens, causes of conflict, methods of reporting, investigating and documenting on human rights violations; culture of peace and non violence. At the end of the project, the organization recommended the continuation of sensitization campaigns in every part of the country with an emphasis on women empowerment and improvement of children well-being. Recommendations were also made to: organize periodically human rights education campaigns to further spread human rights awareness; to support educators with necessary logistics and human rights handouts and materials; to carry out recreational facilities in schools so as to enhance mutual interaction among pupils and educate them in a culture of peace and non violence.

Ethiopian Muslim Relief and Development Association organized a human rights sensitization workshop in the Hetosa Woreda, Ethiopia. Issues addressed during the workshop included: women’s rights, harmful traditional practices and ways to promote attitudinal changes within the local community. Beneficiaries of the workshop were individuals from public and traditional institutions. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants acquired basic knowledge and skills on democracy, good governance, human rights and gender issues. The workshop also enhanced participants’ awareness of democracy and Ethiopian constitution and the consequences of harmful traditional practice affecting the marginalized groups. It also changed participants’ attitude about women’s contribution to the social and economic development. The workshop has also caused the local government bodies to give due attention for such thematic issues in future undertakings.

Ligue Iteka, a theatre group, performed an interactive play addressing human rights issues to more than 1,000 pupils of the Gitega and Muyinga districts in Burundi. The children were asked to replace, from time to time, the actors playing the role of the oppressed, and were asked to express feelings and to find out solutions on how human rights violations should be avoided.

The Association Kerebuka, based in Ngozi, Burundi, established a human rights youth club in Kinyami. A training workshop on children’s and women’s rights was held for 12 girls and 8 boys from the region; these participants were selected for their communication skills.

The Association Murika piloted a sensitization campaign on general human rights issues for women, returnees, and internally displaced people from various ethnical origins. Approximately 94 women, 65 men, 24 girls and 17 boys of the Bugendana municipality benefited from this project. Human rights focal points were established in Bugendana, Busangano and Mutoyi in Burundi, and will regularly report to the grant recipient, and alert them if needed.

The Ecole ménagère “Les Hirondelles” held a course on human rights from November 2002 to April 2003 for 60 young women in need from the Moroni region, Comoros. The courses were given both in the French and the Comorian language. Journalists were invited to interview the students on what they learnt, and the programmes were largely broadcast. As a result, many young girls who were not registered in the school inquired on how they could benefit from similar courses.

The Fondation anjouanaise des droits de l’homme in Comoros used the grant with a view to facilitating access to human rights information for its visitors: a computer and TV materials were bought, as well as subscriptions to human rights newspapers. The NGO also developed contacts with local radios in order to broadcast human rights information programmes. On 19 November 2002, the NGO organized a workshop on internally displaced children and child pornography, and on 10 December (Human Rights Day), workshops were held on democracy, the rule of law and the role of civil society in the promotion of human rights; these activities allowed the NGO to cooperate with many government officials.

The Centre culturel et de recherche Ernst Jean-Baptiste conducted a series of activities to inform segments of the population of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on general human rights issues: books were purchased for the library of the centre, a drawing competition on environment was organized in schools and advertised through two radio programmes. Conferences on the situation of human rights in the country were held at university. Approximately 3000 copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were distributed to youth so as to be disseminated through their communities and schools; roundtables on violence against women were organized on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. The activities received such large media coverage that the NGO was invited to attend a debate at the national radio.

Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme en Islam conducted activities aiming at raising people awareness on children and women’s rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A training for trainers workshop was organized with the purpose of enhancing trainers’ knowledge and skills about women and children’s rights. Posters were also produced and 2500 copies were disseminated in schools. Six radio programmes on the promotion and protection of children and women’s rights were broadcast twice a month to ensure a national media coverage of the awareness raising campaign.

La Corporacion Cultural de la Aldaba in Colombia engaged in a diverse array of art performances designed to highlight and raise youth awareness on problems and prospects of human rights in the community. To this end, pedagogical activities were organized during which theatre performances, concerts and movies were presented. Participants were invited to debate and share their views on what they have learnt about children’s rights, women’s rights and the importance of dialogue, tolerance and freedom of expression. At the end of the exercises, it was considered that artistic language was as key element to build and enhance community cohesion.

The Centre for Human Rights and Development conducted a research study from December 2002 to February 2003 on the status of the right to adequate housing in Mongolia, with a focus on less people. Based on the results of the research, the NGO held a seminar in which participated representatives from various ministries and social policy departments of districts’ administration. The NGO also produced 8 radio programmes on the right to adequate housing which were broadcast by the national radio station.

The Organización regional Embera Wounaan organized three sensitization workshops on armed conflict and indigenous people’s rights, as well as conflict prevention and conflict resolution, in three different regions negatively impacted by guerilla groups in Colombia. A number of 253 people attended the workshops, among which representatives of local authorities, school teachers and students; they received printed materials on the above mentioned issues. The NGO worked under very difficult conditions.

The Asociación Municipal Mujer Rural de Supia Caldas, organized three capacity-building workshops for 125 local leaders in Colombia. Issues such as the right to development, right to food, human rights protection mechanisms, and women’s rights were discussed during interactive activities. At the end of the workshops, recommendations adopted included: the organization of additional workshops to further raise people’s awareness on human rights; the need to improve the social and economic situation of affected areas; the need to provide assistance to women victims of domestic violence.

Rights of persons with disabilities

Adolat conducted activities aiming at protecting and promoting the rights of children with disabilities in the city of Kokand, Rishtan and Dangara in Uzbekistan. 20 seminars,10 puppet shows and 1 conference on the topic “My Rights” were organized reaching out 118 adults and 400 children. An advocacy campaign was also conducted on the theme “Accessibility of persons with disabilities to public infrastructures facilities”. As an outcome of the project, several local administrations committed themselves to build ramps and improve public infrastructures. 20 types of handouts outlining the rights of people with disabilities were distributed and posters on “Accessibility of disabled people to public infrastructures facilities” were disseminated. The trainees engaged themselves to duplicate the knowledge they acquired during the workshop and to train and educate other people.

The Disabled Organization for Legal Affairs and Social Economic Development organized and conducted three 2-day training workshops on the rights of children with disabilities in three rural areas of Tanzania. The workshops were attended by representatives of local administrative and civil society associations as well as religious institutions, journalists, and parents of children with disabilities. A total of 105 people took part in the workshops. The grant recipient produced materials on the rights of the disabled and distributed them during the workshops. Data on children with disabilities were collected and presented to local government officials so as to be taken into consideration in the formulation of new policies. In this regard, the NGO made concrete recommendations to local authorities.

Massafat Theatre Group performed 13 times the theatre play The Wall, which addressed issues faced by blind people, in different places in the Gaza strip. Approximately 500 people watched the play and participated in debates on the rights of the disabled, in particular the rights of the blind. The recipient reported on the specific usefulness of theatre performances in some areas of the Gaza strip where the youth has no access to leisure and entertainment.

The National Centre for Community Rehabilitation held 12 awareness raising workshops on the rights of the disabled in the Gaza strip. Each training workshop was targeted towards a specific audience: the general public, the disabled themselves, their families, representatives of local institutions, journalists. Approximately 1,000 people attended the training workshops.

Women’s rights, Violence Against Women and Reproductive Rights

The Afghan Women Lawyers and Professionals Association (AWPLA) organized and conducted a two-day training workshop on women’s rights for 76 women of Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan in December 2002. Participants were able to learn about their rights and to report on their own situation. The recipient also established an office in Mazar-e Sharif.

New Horizon”, active in Serbia and Montenegro, conducted 12 radio programmes, 11 television programmes and wrote 8 articles in magazines. Most of them focused on the rights of Albanian women in Montenegro, including: right to education, domestic violence, inter-ethnic relationships and representation in public life. Information included also testimonies of Albanian women who experienced difficult situations, and overcame them by dialoguing and imposing respect for their rights. The recipient reported on the high level of outreach both in terms of quantity and quality. They also noticed that the project generally improved the quality of information in the Albanian language in Montenegro. Trained journalists will continue to write and report on human rights of this minority.

The Victimology Society of Serbia conceived and conducted an information campaign on domestic violence in Belgrade, Uzice and Zajecar in Serbia and Montenegro. The grant recipient created and produced sensitization materials (leaflets, postcards and posters) on the basis of the results of a research that it had conducted a year before. Three street campaigns were organized that reached about 3,000 people; additionally, music performances, televion and radio programmes addressing the issue of battered women were held and broadcast. Materials were also distributed in schools, social care centres, and to structures dealing with female prisoners.

Women’s Space conducted three 2-day workshops for 48 women on women’s issues, women empowerment, and the protection of women’s rights at the international and the national levels in Serbia and Montenegro.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Medica Zenica Women’s Association held 12 workshops in villages where returnees live. About 250 returnee women took part in the events and were able to speak out on violence, hate speech and daily discrimination, but also to design strategies to overcome these obstacles. The workshops were held both in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian.

Women’s Forum conducted a project aiming at raising people awareness on violence against women. The organization conducted several meetings with communities in the country. It also organized a one-day workshop in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone which addressed issues on domestic violence and its causes and consequences. Participants also discussed actions to be taken in order to assist victims and perpetrators to overcome the trauma resulting from acts of violence occurring among family members. Sexual abuses, wife battering, early and forced marriage were considered as one of the most widespread violence inflicted to women and girls. During the workshop, the organization developed and produced awareness raising materials (such as posters, slogans on stickers) and distributed them to participants. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants agreed that the culture of silence on domestic violence was responsible for the dramatic increase of such acts. They also considered that efforts should be made to educate men on women and children’s rights and on the importance of maintaining relationship based on mutual respect. Jingles on women’s rights were aired in radio stations.

The Association pour la Défense des droits de la femme, based in Bujumbura, Burundi conducted six information sessions on women’s rights in the poorest suburbs of the capital. An impressive audience responded to the invitations: 852 women, 413 men, 995 girls and 680 boys attended the sessions, during which drawn materials were distributed.

Solidarité Femmes, based in Gitega, presented the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to 551 women, aged between 18 and 40, from 6 municipalities of the Gitega district in Burundi. During the debate, women came up spontaneously with testimonies and feelings about their own lives, the way they were treated in their marriages and the discrimination in girls’ access to education. The NGO also highlighted a number of human rights concerns in the target region, namely reasons of the HIV/AIDS growing epidemic, sexual delinquency and situation of orphans. The NGO reported that the local authorities welcomed the creation of the clubs as they participated in the peaceful settlement of conflicts. It is expected that participants will conduct sensitization campaigns in their respective villages through clubs that have been set up for this purpose.

The Association féminine secours mutuel de Gitega conducted a 14-day training campaign on women’s rights for community and teenagers leaders of the Gitega region in Burundi. Approximately 53 women, 21 men, among whom representatives of local authorities, 6 girls and 7 boys benefited from the sessions conducted in the Kirundi language. A number of concrete recommendations to advance the cause of women were outlined and transmitted to local authorities.

The Association Dukundane conducted a training session on violence against women in the Gitega region in Burundi. They trained 10 female community leaders. The grant recipient produced a training manual and a picture-set; copies were distributed to all participants so that they can present it in their communities. Participants reported that they were more aware about their rights and that they will now speak out on violence against women and girls and denounce them to the local authorities.

The Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (LIMPAL) in Colombia conducted two training of trainers workshops for 45 selected female leaders of their communities. The discussions focused on violence against women, psychological effects of violence, consequences of armed conflict on women, and ways to struggle against such effects.

The Asociación municipal de Mujeres Salineras (ASOMULSA) organized 9 training workshops for approximately 200 female leaders of communities, focusing on violence against women in Colombia, but also addressing economic and social rights. At the end of the workshop, trainees engaged themselves to duplicate the knowledge they acquired during the workshop, and to train and educate people in their respective communities.

The Comité regional de derechos humanos Joel Sierra, based in Saravena, Colombia organized a series of events in Santo Domingo, a community mainly composed of indigenous peoples. Activities for children included: information workshop on the rights of the child; a ceremony of plantation of trees in memory of the victims of the bombing of the city in 1998; a drawing competition to decorate a wall where the bombing had taken place. A workshop was also organized for the members of the community to deal with ways to prevent and to face violence. These activities encouraged members of the community to present a case before the Constitutional Court of Colombia to obtain reparation after the bombing.

The Association de Mujeres Sembradoras de Vida y Libertad, based in Colombia organized training workshops on women’s rights. Issues addressed during the workshop included: international human rights instruments with a particular focus on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, overview of the United Nations human rights protection system, participation and role of women in Colombian society, impact of conflict on Colombian women. Participants were also invited to talk about conflict situation in their country and way and means for women organizations to further their action through the strengthening of civil networks.

TRUST Kumanovo, an NGO active in inter-cultural dialogue in Macedonia, organized 12 training sessions for women returnees from remote areas of the country. Issues such as daily discrimination, violence and hate speech were discussed, as well as strategies to overcome obstacles to a peaceful life for communities living in these villages.

Women’s Voice trained 100 volunteers from the Mchinji and Mzuzu districts in Malawi on women’s and girls’ rights and in particular on the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The volunteers conducted 18 raising awareness campaigns in their respective villages, which reached 810 men and 650 women; such campaigns are on-going.

Justice et Solidarité, an organization based in the Democratic Republic of Congo organized a training for trainers workshop on women’s rights. Presentations made during the workshop focused on: women’s exploitation within the religious and spiritual traditions; discriminatory practices against women employees in the workplace; lack of representation and participation of women in public life; high level of illiteracy among women and girls; necessity to ensure gender equality in education. Participants were also invited to reflect on issues such as election, democracy and civil and political rights. They were also informed about women’s status in the family and penal code. At the end of the workshop, evaluations showed that participants were able to: conduct trainings on democracy, monitor violations of women’s rights and work with other local and national networks on the promotion of democracy, good governance and women’s rights.

Katakus, based in Davao City, conducted two seminars on violence against women, health and reproductive rights for 187 women and 72 men of remote villages of the Davao region, in Philippines. Participants were particularly impressed by the videos on child trafficking; Police officials who attended the workshop reported that they acquired more knowledge on women’s rights and the way to handle rape complaints.

The Reproduction Rights Resource Group Philippines conducted a project aiming at raising awareness on reproductive health for women and youth of Western Mindanao region in Philippines. In order to promote sexual and reproductive health rights, the Reproduction Rights Resource Group Philippines organized two workshops in Zamboanga City aiming at strengthening participants understanding and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health rights and at informing them on existing policies and programmes implemented in Philipines. The workshops gathered twenty six participants including governmental representatives from Health and Education Department, non governmental organizations and academics experts. The workshops focused on lectures and debates on sex and gender differentiation, manifestations of gender bias, sexual reproductive health rights issues across the life cycle and sexual and reproductive health rights in the Muslim context. At the conclusion of the workshops, participants developed posters on women’s rights and translated into Tausug thirteen sexual and reproductive health rights.

The Association des femmes volontaires pour l’agriculture et le développement in Guinea organized two training workshops on women’s rights and the prevention of female genital mutilation for 32 women from two rural areas. These women are now themselves training other women from their communities. A special event was organized with 263 children, among which 173 girls on the above mentioned issues.

The 37 th Promotion de medicine of the Medicine Faculty of ConakryUniversity in Guinea organized a conference on unexpected maternity in schools and two other ones on HIV/AIDS and related rights and stigma. 160 students attended the events.

The Confédération des Associations Femmes et Développement in Madagascar conducted a sensitization campaign on birth registration in remote areas of the country, where the rate of non registered birth is estimated to reach 75%. The campaign consisted of the elaboration, production and distribution of seven posters (each in 100 copies) and the organization of gatherings. Achievements of the project included: commitment by mothers to register their children at birth (2200 new registrations were made during the following weeks of the project); increase in school attendance.

Human Rights, Health and Ethics

In Philippines, Medical Action Group conducted a study aiming at determining the level of awareness of urban poor residents on their rights as patients and at describing the health behavior of patients regarding the use of public health facilities in the community. The results of the research revealed that patients’ awareness on their rights is limited owing to lack of access to information. The study also underscored the importance of education and information dissemination among patients and health care providers. It stressed the need to educate health care providers on ethics and human rights in order to make them more aware of their duties to treat their patients with dignity and respect.

The Kanengo AIDS Support Organization in Malawi conducted an awareness raising campaign on the rights of people living and working with HIV/AIDS. Approximately 602 people, adults and teenagers, HIV positive or negative, mostly from remote villages, benefited from discussions, experience-sharing presentations and distribution of information materials.

The association Women for Social Progress in Mongolia conducted a project focusing on human duties. They translated, produced and distributed 500 copies of the International Council on Human Rights’ handbook entitled Taking Duties Seriously: Individual Duties in International Human Rights Law to NGOs, public libraries, and political parties.

The Mongolian Association of Independent and Free Newspapers (MAIFN) an organization based in Mongolia developed a project aiming at elaborating a code of ethics for Mongolian journalists. A survey was conducted among 500 journalists on their views about the code of ethics. The code was adopted in February 2003, and 1200 copies were distributed to newspapers, schools of journalism, the Office of the President, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the heads of political parties and judicial organizations.

The Comité des jeunes - Mon avenir d'abord, based in Donka-Conakry conducted a sensitization project on the human rights of people affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The campaign, hold in the premises of the rural radio stations of Kindia and Labé, consisted of 72 debates, broadcast in 24 programmes, which cover the South part of the country and is also listened to in neighboring countries. Issues such as sexual behaviour, reproductive health, AIDS orphans, and discrimination were discussed live, and the NGO received about 4,800 phone calls and 5,000 letters on the subject.

Human Rights Education in the School System

In Sierra Leone , University of Sierra Leoneorganized a one-day workshop aiming at mainstreaming human rights education into peace and conflict studies curriculum. In particular, the workshop sought to: identify resources for the provision of human rights education and training; increase the knowledge of participants on basic human rights concepts; facilitate the exchange and the sharing of experiences in the field of human rights training and education; provide a forum for the exchange and sharing of information concerning country specific situations; further promote human rights networking at local and international level. Approximately 120 participants attended the workshop which brought together representatives of human rights organizations, civil society organizations, lecturers, researchers, practitioners and students of university. During the discussions, participants identified and developed methodologies for educating in human rights. As an outcome of the workshop, draft modules were produced and finalized through consultations and inputs provided by experts.

Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz in Venezuela produced and published a teaching book for teachers of the pre-school, primary and secondary school levels, illustrated by children’s drawings. The book, through short cartoon stories, addressed various human rights issues such as the right to identity, to diversity, to a safe and clean environment, and freedom of expression. 2000 copies were produced and distributed to schools and other partners throughout the country.

Independent, an NGO active in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted seven-day training for 16 (9 female and 7 male) young educators from the local level in human rights education methodologies. The trainees, who came from different regions of the country, were provided with relevant materials: CD-ROMs, Human Rights Education Pack “Starting Points for Teachers” published by the Council of Europe and copies of manuals. The trainees engaged themselves to duplicate the knowledge they acquired during the workshop, and to train and educate other young people upon their return to their respective town.

Université Quisqueya, based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti produced a human rights education manual for teachers of the primary and secondary school, and conducted a series of related presentations in schools. The manual addressed human rights issues related to childhood. A group of teachers has been identified to use the pilot version of the manual in their classroom; based on their feedback, the manual was adapted to the needs identified.

In Mongolia, the PoliticalEducationAcademy organized a contest on theatre-play writing. The contest was advertised in three Mongolian newspapers. The play was performed in theatres in Ulaanbaatar and filmed by a famous Mongolian film-director. The film was shown to 18 teachers at the NGO headquarters, and to the general public in local branches of the NGO; more than 430 people watched it and had the opportunity to discuss the issues addressed by the film. The teachers said that it was the first time they were explained what human rights were, and they committed themselves to speak about human rights in their classrooms.

Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement undertook a series of raising awareness activities in twenty schools of the Blantyre region in Malawi, from August to November 2002. Teachers and students received a training workshop on general human rights and democracy issues with a focus on children’s rights. They were encouraged to establish human rights clubs in their school and distribute promotional materials. 20 clubs have been created, which organized at least one 1-day human rights event in their school, and distributed as many as 2000 leaflets. The grant recipient reported on the decrease of violence, as well as on growing interest among students to learn more about human rights, especially in the context of HIV/AIDS.

Children’s Rights

Dogodogo Center Street Children Trust conducted activities aiming at raising people awareness on children’s rights. Activities included the organization of two workshops for teachers and police officers in Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania. Presentations were made on topics addressing issues such as: the effects of HIV/AIDS on children, difficulties in implementing children’s rights and the role of the judiciary system in strengthening children’s rights. At the end of the workshop, the evaluation seminar showed that 80% of the participants acquired knowledge about children’s rights. Theatre and music performances spreading messages on children’s rights, peace and HIV/AIDS were organized in targeted areas. 20 CD copies and 30 audio tapes were produced and distributed to radio stations.

La Parroquia San Camillo de Lelis organized 65 workshops on children’s rights for children of the region of Lelis, Venezuela. Approximately 2159 children and teenagers, as well as 765 parents, directly benefited from the events. The grant recipient also produced 12 long and 48 short radio programmes on children’s rights which were broadcast twice a month in the region of Lelis.

Children’s Horizons organized a series of activities aiming at raising awareness on children’s rights: 54 workshops in six different schools of Serbia and Montenegro, 6 group discussions, one television and four radio shows on the rights of the child were conducted. Children were the principal beneficiaries of the project: 92 children were able to receive basic information on their rights, and to express their views and feelings about their situation both at school and . The workshops focused on tolerance vis-à-vis children from different origins and with disabilities. The TV show was held in both the Serbian and the Albanian languages, and children who participated in activities at school were invited to speak up on what they had learnt. The TV show benefited from a large media coverage.

The Maticna Biblioteka of Prijepolje conducted a research on the literacy rate among Roma children of the region of Prijepoljek in Serbia and Montenegro. Given the low results of the study, the NGO decided to purchase books, comic strip books and other materials in the Roma language and to have them collected in the library. The NGO also provided free access badges to children and organized a sensitization campaign among parents to send their children to school.

The organization Lastavica organized 24 interactive educational workshops for 60 children, among which refugees, in Surcin and Pancevo in Serbia and Montenegro. The workshops aimed at diffusing the rights of the child as they are contained in the relevant UN Convention, and at educating children on how to express their needs and wishes. Children were also keen to know more about the elderly. Therefore, a one-day workshop on the relationship between children and older people was organized during which posters, songs and short stories were produced. Another workshop was designed to teach children on how to use a computer; since many of these children come from in-need contexts, it was a first opportunity for them to be familiarized with a computer. Furthermore, the project strived to develop children communication skills.

The Association pour la fraternité multicolore in Burkina Faso organized a project aiming at developing income generating activities through artistic and handcraft creation. 48 students (27 female, 21 male), orphans or persons in need, learnt to create objects that they could sell on local markets, in order to be able to attend courses. A medical visit was also organized, during which the teenagers received information on prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs.

The Groupe de recherche-action pour un développement endogène de la femme rurale au Burkina Faso (GRADE) organized in October 2002 a three-day workshop on the rights of the child, directed to twenty teachers and twenty NGOs’ representatives coming from different regions of the country. Issues such as working children, particularly vulnerable children, international protection of children’s rights, trafficking in children, female genital mutilation, children and HIV/AIDS were addressed; information materials were distributed. The teachers and the trainers engaged themselves to conduct information sessions on the rights of the child in schools and in communities.

Coalition au Burkina Faso pour les droits de l’enfant (COBUFADE) conducted a sensitization project targeting 50 teachers and approximately 800 school children. COBUFADE compiled all promotional tools and materials on the rights of the child available in the country; the compilation has been widely distributed among teaching actors. It also set up a documentation centre on human rights in their headquarters in Ouagadougou. An itinerating reading bus has also been organized, that goes from one village to another, and provides lectures on human rights and children’s rights issues.

The Association pour la promotion des déshérités du Burundi set up a programme aiming at finding families willing to adopt orphans. Conferences and sensitization seminars on children’s rights were organized to raise people awareness on the situation of orphans in Burundi. Adequate education materials were also produced and disseminated during the conferences. A legal clinic was also set up to provide psycho-social and material assistance to children.

Birhan Integrated Community Development Organization in Ethiopia produced a four-fold brochure on “How to Avoid Corporal/Physical Punishment on Children at Schools and ” and distributed more than 2,000 copies of it to children in Addis Abbeba schools on the occasion of interactive information sessions on children’s rights. In addition, two workshops on the prevention of abuses on children and promotion of children’s rights were organized for more than 120 participants (teachers, teenager’s leaders of established children’s rights clubs). Furthermore, a training workshop was conducted on child rights advocacy for 50 members of child rights clubs from the Woreda 1 quarter; the programme focused on communication through dramas and puppet shows. At the end of the programme, participants were able to produce a drama and to create puppets so as to promote children rights in their schools. At last, the grant recipient organized a questions and answers competition on the rights of the child in which more than 500 students and scholars took part. On the occasion of the African Child Day on 16 June 2002, the recipient distributed 250 t-shirts and 500 caps promoting the rights of the child. The recipient also set up child rights clubs with promotional and teaching materials on human rights. It was reported that approximately 12,000 school children and community members were directly or indirectly reached by these activities.

The Association pour l'Education, la Santé et l'Environnement in Madagascarimplemented raising-awareness activities on children's rights in eight schools in the area of Ambohidratimo. Activities included: presentation of a film addressing children’s rights and organization of debates; organization of an inter-school drawing competition and an exhibition presenting the drawings. The NGO produced and distributed materials in the Malagasy language (leaflets, posters, booklets), and organized large sensitization effort towards teachers. Approximately 2,000 teenagers and 40 teachers benefited from the project. The NGO hoped that the materials produced will serve, in the future, as permanent teaching tools. The NGO has already developed working relationships with local education authorities, through the organization of similar projects aiming at making teenagers aware of HIV/AIDS-related issues.

In Cambodia, Protection and Provision of Juvenile Justice (PPJJ), a Khmer-administered NGO working on legal issues, produced 2000 leaflets and posters to raise awareness on the prevention of sexual abuses on children. The NGO also provided legal assistance with regard to the principles of the CRC and relevant provisions of Cambodian law. In November 2002, the grant recipient also printed 100 copies of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and 600 copies of a legal handbook entitled Children in Cambodian Justice System. Many copies of all these materials were shipped to governmental agencies, but also NGOs, prison officials, and teachers. In January 2003, PPJJ organized four training workshops in two remote districts on children and the Cambodian system of justice, with a focus on children belonging to minorities, for 160 people. Police officers, military forces, prison officials, provincial officials, teachers, and representatives from partner NGOs attended the workshop. At the end of the workshop, it was agreed that representatives of PPJJ would conduct visits in prisons and police stations.

The Fondation pour l’étude, le développement et la promotion du droit en Guinée produced a documentary on the situation of children’s rights in Guinea. Contacts were established with relevant Ministries and institutions in order to film and interview about 45 children. However, the NGO encountered obstacles when they planned to shoot young prisoners. The documentary was presented during workshops on children’s rights in schools.

Dier Al Balah Activity Centre conducted a wide range of activities to inform the youth of the Gaza strip on their rights. The recipient developed a web site on general human rights issues with a focus on children’s rights. They organized two workshops on the rights of the child with 25 young participants each, who received a T-shirt produced by the NGO. Another 100 T-shirts were distributed to local community organizations so as to spread out human rights message. Printed information materials on human rights were produced and distributed in schools where drawing competitions were also organized.

United for the Protection of Human Rights, an organization based in Sierra Leone, conducted two sensitizations seminars on children’s rights. Issues addressed during the workshop included: prevention of child rights abuse, neglect and exploitation of children within the community. The seminars brought together teachers union, police officers, local authorities (chiefs), women’s group and ex-combatants (adults and children). One inter-secondary schools quiz and arts competition was also held. Questions for the quiz and arts competition were based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Prizes for the competition ranged from wall-clocks, teaching and writing materials to one year tuition fee to the best student in the quiz. The organization also produced a human rights booklet in the Themne language. The booklet is intended to enhance the understanding of human rights issues. 600 copies were distributed to schools and communities within Porto Loko and Kambia districts.

Human rights in the Administration of Justice

The Association Aprofeta, based in Ngozi, Burundi, conducted a training programme for 13 imprisoned women aiming at supporting the condition of living of female prisoners and facilitating their reintegration in society by assisting them in becoming economically independent after their release from prison. The training programme included income-generating activities such as: sewing and dressmaking. The implementation of the activity required obtaining beforehand the authorization of the prison’s leaders and the General Direction of Prison Affairs, which was a noticeable achievement. The NGO addressed general human rights issues with the imprisoned women through informal talks as many of them were illiterate. When reporting, the NGO highlighted the release of two trained women, who started to work as dressmakers.

The Association Tubagarukire, based in Ngozi, Burundi, visited prisons in the Ngozi district where they conducted sensitization sessions on human rights in prisons and arbitrary detention. This campaign resulted in a number of complaints of rapes in prisons, and built up confidence between prisoners and prison officials. The NGO also set up follow-up committees in the cities and villages where the prisons are established. It also organized a series of events and lectures on the occasion of human rights day 2002 in which 178 women, 294 men and 112 children participated.

The Aumônerie catholique des prisons de Majunga, Madagascar established a library in a prison in order to teach illiterate prisoners to read, and to help social reinsertion of prisoners. The NGO purchased relevant materials, including books in French. The Alliance Française was involved in the choice of the books. The library is now open to prisoners, but also to prison officials. A specific system has also been established to enable prisoners who cannot leave their cells to hire books. It is to be underlined that all allocated grant has been spent for materials, the human resources being provided on a voluntary basis. It was stressed that the grant recipient developed constructive working relationship with Ministry of Justice during the implementation of the project.

Between July and December 2002, the Incest Trauma Centre, based in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro designed and conducted a 4-day training programme for 49 police officers entitled Presenting Evidence and Interviewing Children and Adults Survivors of Sexual Assault. Participants came from 11 towns of Serbia; they received a 142-page manual on sexual assault, on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and case studies. More specifically, the NGO developed a practical handbook for police officers and judicial officials on techniques to interview children and women survivors of sexual abuse on the one side, and the perpetrators on the other side.

The Centre for Advancement of Peace of Democracy in Ethiopia (CAPDE) conducted a need assessment study regarding training for police officers in the Gambella region. Based on the results of the study, which reflected the absence of human rights awareness raising sessions for the police, CAPDE designed and piloted a training programme for 47 investigation officers and district heads of the regional police (among which 3 women), and drafted a training manual for members of the police. After the programme’s implementation, the trainees engaged to widespread the message among their colleagues, and to report to the NGO on improvements noticed.

Sanjak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms conducted a research on 30 alleged cases of torture by military or police forces in Serbia and Montenegro. The documented cases were then reported to the local public prosecutor, who took action on most of them.

Annex 1

Countries selected for the ACT Project, Phase 3 - (29, listed by region)

Africa
Arab region
Asia-Pacific
Europe, North America and Central Asia
Latin America and Caribbean
Burkina Faso
Egypt
Afghanistan
Belarus
Colombia
Burundi
Occupied Palestinian territories
Cambodia Bosnia Herzegovina Haiti
Cameroon
Democratic Republic of Fiji
Macedonia
Venezuela
Comoros
Mongolia Serbia &Montenegro  
Democratic Republic of the Congo   Philippines Uzbekistán  
Ethiopia   Samoa    
Guinea   Solomon Islands    
Madagascar   Tonga    
Malawi   Vanuatu    
Sierra Leone        
Tanzania        

For general information, please contact:

ACT Project
OHCHR
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8-14 Avenue de la Paix
CH - 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 928 90 10
E-mail: ACTProject@ohchr.org