The League of Human Rights Advocates in Slovakia (LHRA) helps to bridge the gap between the locus of abuse and policies, laws and treaties that have been created to prevent or stop a violation. Often the discussion of these abuses and the laws or policies to prevent them exists only in high-level political and diplomatic forums. The LHRA recruits people from the disenfranchised population – in this case the Roma – to serve as human rights monitors. The monitors learn, often for the first time, about their own rights under national and international law. The LHRA and the monitors then work to enforce those rights – signed into existence in far-off capitals – in their own town halls, police stations, schools and communities. The information from local monitors is used to present the “on the ground” impact of national and international laws in the country. The work done in Slovakia may provide each of us with tactical ideas to address similar gaps in our communities and countries.
Year of Publication: 2003
Author(s): Columbus Igboanusi