GHR second Program is entitled: ‘Implementation Now, strengthening national empowerment to facilitate the implementation of human rights at national level’ (INP). Aim is to contribute to the implementation processes in particular countries through training, mediation, advisory services and teaching strategies.
The Programme finds its origins in Mexico. With the support of the FDFA, at the request of the Mexican Ministry of Interior, GHR contributed to the elaboration and the first stages of the implementation of Mexico’s national Programme for human rights in a training and mediation process between the Government and the civil society (2004-2008) until the end of the mandate of President Fox. Learning from the Mexican experiences with an external evaluator, GHR made feasibility studies and started similar initiatives for Colombia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Timor Leste, and, more recently in Tunisia.
GHR Programme has become part of the follow-up with our trainees in many countries. The 3-week Geneva Course offers a unique opportunity to help defenders from the regions to elaborate concrete plans for the future. Besides the Course, GHR staff has many working sessions with them to discuss the best strategies at national and international levels. Thus, new countries have been added to the list. Moreover, in 2011 we started elaborating thematic programmes, in particular on women’s rights and on human rights defenders.
With our Colombian trainee (GSC-27), and in our meeting with Gustavo Gallon, the Director of our main partner, the Colombian Commission of Jurists (7 June), we further discussed the forthcoming GHR Course in Colombia. Specific funding is needed to realize this plan.
Having been instrumental in the preparation of The Hague Consultation (January 2008), GHR hosted from 19 to 21 March 2012 a new meeting of the Sri Lanka consultation. This consultation was prepared by Theo Rathgeber. A dozen of agencies from Germany, Netherlands, England and Geneva attended, together with several victims and witnesses from Sri Lanka. GHR presented proposals for new strategies to raise the issues of violations and accountability. On 19 March, the Group organized a side event on the situation in Sri Lanka, focusing on the need to deal with the past.
In 2012, GHR welcomed its 4th trainee from the Terai, in the South of Nepal, where GHR is involved in a training programme for young partners on tools of transitional justice and on the elaboration of public policies to deal with the past and implement human rights. We prepared the next Course in the Terai with this trainee.
We met former trainees from the Philippines during the UPR review of this country (May). In September 2012, it was decided to prepare jointly In-Country Training with the Filipino defenders having participated in the Geneva Courses. During these courses on the spot, our former trainees will be resource persons.
Eastern Congo (DRC)
In June and September 2012, defenders from Congo-DRC came to Geneva for the Geneva Courses. They were from Kivu. In June, GHR submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions a communication prepared by a Congolese participant in the Geneva Course about the killings occurring the East of the DRC. One week later, the Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal and the High Commissioner made a strong public statement. Their stay in Geneva enabled them to better understand how to work with UN procedures, with follow-up documentation on the situation, and to inform the Geneva community on the massacres committed by both the Congolese forces and the Movement M-23. Lines of communications with Geneva-based NGOs improved.
From 14 to 16 March 2012, the Faith-based Network on West Papua (Indonesia) met in the Office of Franciscans International. Faith-based organizations from Germany, Netherlands and Australia and a dozen of partners from Papua (most of them being former GHR trainees in the Geneva Courses) attended. Dialogue with Indonesian authorities was at the center of the discussion. During this meeting, GHR intervened with proposals on future strategies. On 6-7 December, GHR also attended the coalition meeting in Wuppertal, Germany, to further discuss strategies for implementation.
Women’s Programme – India
The Indian Government took the unprecedented step to issue a permanent invitation to the thematic procedures (end 2011). However, the recommendations of the two Special Rapporteurs who visited India (human rights defenders and summary executions) led to negative Governmental reactions. The mendacious allegations by certain Indian groups, that the Rapporteurs would have visited certain regions/States (which they did not visit, e.g. Manipur), did not improve this climate. Moreover, strong restrictive measures were also taken against many human rights organizations, preventing them to receive foreign funding.
After the disappointing outcome of India’s UPR review, Women in Governance(WinG) decided to organize during the 21st session of the HR-Council a side-event on violence against women in India. GHR facilitated its preparation and provided advice and orientation. The event took place on 12 September. It was animated by four former trainees in the Geneva Course and by participants in GHR Courses in North-East India.