Modeling Systems and Structures

Society as Mediator for Conflict Resolution: Elkarri’s Peace Conference

An audience of people listening to a speakerElkarri, a group based in the Basque Region, has used a form of dialogue they call social mediation to encourage the broadest possible participation from all arenas of society to discuss solutions to the conflict. Community members were given a broad choice of ways to get involved: from signing a petition to becoming a member to participating in and organizing discussion groups. But however people chose to participate, they learned that they had a role to play in mediating the conflict that affected their lives and created pressure on the groups in conflict to make steps toward seeking peaceful resolution.

Making Sense of the Information Wilderness: Library and Information Services for the Improvement of Human Rights Work

Image of a computer screenThe Human Rights Centre at the University of Sarajevo used their resources efficiently to more effectively advance human rights work.  They built a strong information system and created a central role for an information specialist or librarian. The utilization of this information system and specialist allowed other staff to better, and more productively, focus on their core programmatic missions.

Promoting Human Rights Professionalism in the Liberian Police Force

The Liberian National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA) was established by law enforcement personnel to address issues of poor leadership, blind loyalty, and lack of professional training, each of which have contributed to a poor quality of services and a high incidence of human rights abuses. LINLEA has worked to promote professionalism as a way to enhance human rights standards and reduce incidences of abuse.

Powerful Persuasion: Combating traditional practices that violate human rights

Participants of a workshopTrokosi, in Ghana, is a system of servitude that meets the community need for justice and the material and sexual needs of fetish priests. Customary or traditional practices based on deep-seated beliefs, such as Trokosi, are often the more difficult human rights violations to eradicate.  Trokosi is when women and young girls are brought and kept in fetish shrines to atone for sins or crimes allegedly committed by one of their relatives. The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) recognized that legislation outlawing such practices may not be effective and may, in some cases, result in driving a customary practice further underground.

A Mock Tribunal to Advance Change: The National Tribunal on Violence Against Women in Nigeria

A woman testifying with a veilBAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, in collaboration with the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), highlighted violations of women’s rights in Nigeria that were viewed by the public as normal or even justifiable abuse.  They used a mock tribunal to change public perceptions and beliefs regarding violations against women, and changed public policy and law.

Access to Justice: Creating local level, citizen action mediation bodies to ensure human rights

Women sitting in a circleThe Centre for Victims of Torture (CVICT) in Nepal instituted a tactic to circumvent the problem of police abuse through a process of rights-based community mediation. This community mediation process was piloted in three districts of the country. CVICT adapted the general community mediation process to meet the specific needs of women through instituting Women’s Peace Committees.

Right to Know, Right to Live: Building a campaign for the right to information and accountability

An audience of women in bright clothesMazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) has been deeply involved in a collective process which has shaped and influenced the Campaign for the Right to Information in India. MKSS makes the case that without access to information and transparency there can be no genuine participation from all members of society, particularly the poor, in democracy.

Child Friendly Villages: Using village strengths to combat child labour

Building Child Friendly Villages: Using village strengths to combat child labour and exploitative practices

Children wearving a carpetBachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Foundation) in India developed the concept and application of child friendly villages as a way to not only promote education for all but also combat the cycle of child labor. Child labor is both a cause as well as a consequence of poverty, illiteracy and lack of human security. The aim of child friendly villages is to create and sustain a child friendly atmosphere within the community to ensure education and put an end to child labor.

Advancing Children's Right to Education

Summary available

Education is a basic human right, enshrined in law all over the world. Yet, according to the Right to Education Project, 69 million children are still out of school, more than 700 million can't read.  Despite these overwhelming numbers, practitioners have developed innovative and successful ways of ensuring that children in their communities have access to education. Access to education is critical in ensuring other rights.

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