What we do

Strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Media Houses to challenge discrimination against Historically Marginalised People (HMPs) and promote their human rights in Rwanda

Rwanda |

Location: Rwanda

Duration: 6 June 2018 – 5 June 2021

What is this programme about? 

This project aims at contributing to the elimination of discrimination against HMPs in Rwanda by empowering CSOs, HRDs and Media so that they are able to effectively defend and promote their human rights. The specific objective is to strengthen the capacity of CSOs, HRDs and Media to effectively challenge discrimination and advocate for greater respect and promotion of the rights of HMPs. In the context of HMPs extreme marginalisation in Rwanda and failing government attempts to address it, the need to support grassroots HMPs initiatives is crucial. As such, the action seeks to enhance the ability of CSOs and activists to effectively advocate for discriminated HMPs’ effective inclusion in Rwandan society, as well as to engage with the media to promote more responsible coverage of discrimination issues.

Why are we delivering this programme? 

HMPs have suffered decades of sustained discrimination, intermittent violence and evictions, leading them to experience long-term marginalisation and exclusion from all public spheres. Given their extremely challenging situation of isolation, the action will proactively support HMPs-led CSOs by equipping them with knowledge and skills to engage government key authorities on respect and implementation of international human rights instruments and on the promotion of anti-discrimination practices and policies. Likewise, the planned paralegals trainings will participate in supporting these CSOs to provide legal guidance to highly vulnerable and discriminated groups. In addition to capacity building trainings and advocacy exercises, the CSOs and HRDs will strengthen their ability to cause positive change through knowledge and experience sharing meetings that will bring together rights activists & representatives of HMP communities, and strengthen community platforms and fora on discriminatory issues faced by HMPs. By empowering minorities that are usually marginalised in public discourse to make their voices and rights heard, and by facilitating engagement with and training of media to ensure HMPs communities are covered responsibly, the action will aim to protect and defend their rights on a wider spectrum to raise awareness and sensitise the wider population. The action will also support minority women through promoting the participation of women in all activities, integrating gender perspectives and issues into training agendas, and highlighting intersectional discrimination experienced by women in media work, reporting and advocacy.

What are we aiming to achieve?

  • Strengthened capacities of various Civil Societies and Human Rights Defenders to engage with the State officials for the respect and promotion of HMPs rights and adherence to regional and international human rights instruments.
  • Increased capacities of Paralegals from the HMPs communities on recording and reporting human rights violations in their communities.
  • Strengthened capacities of Journalists to raise awareness on discrimination perpetrated against HMPs.
  • Increase the awareness of HMPs on their rights and on how to engage relevant stakeholders to address gaps & rights breaches.
  • Increased awareness of various decision makers (from ministries of land, education, tourism and parliament) at local and national levels on HMPs’ specific concerns and abide by international human rights instruments and international bodies are more aware of such concerns and push the government to address them.

Who are our partners in this project? 

African Initiative for Mankind Progress Organization  (AIMPO) & Women’s Organization for Promoting Unity (WOPU)

What are the targeted groups?

Rwandan CSOs and HRDs, Paralegals, Media houses, Rwandan Decision-makers and HMP community members

Who is funding the programme? 

The European Union

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