Building Awareness

Documenting oral testimony to create a written history to help people in isolated communities understand the full extent of the war crimes suffered in their country

As part of the ongoing REMHI (Recovery of Historical Memory) Project, several dioceses of the Catholic Church in Guatemala mobilized their members to collect testimonies from victims of state violence. These testimonies were compiled in a report used to return that history to the affected communities and individuals.

Creating a venue on the Internet for former child soldiers to share their stories and develop new skills

Launched in 2000, the Child Soldier Project of the International Education and Resource Network in Sierra Leone (iEarn Sierra Leone) has created a web site on which former child soldiers can share their stories. The web site, www.childsoldiers.org, features the essays, poems, artwork and voices of former child soldiers and offers an on­line forum for discussion.

Using street conferences to raise awareness around civilians being sent to military trials

No To Military Trials uses “street conferences” to raise awareness around the issue of using military trails against civilian populations in Egypt.  A street conference is a public gathering in a public space to raise awareness about a specific issue by providing testimonies from victims affected by the issue.  The goal of this tactic is to bring the issue to the public in a new way, beyond what is discussed in traditional avenues like the mainstream media.

Citizen monitoring of courts as a means of creating system change

WATCH has developed a highly effective court monitoring method involving citizen volunteers as a means of creating legal and policy system change and improving the administration of justice for victims of abuse. WATCH volunteers first entered a courtroom in Hennepin County, Minnesota (USA) in March 1993. Since that time WATCH trains 50 volunteers each year who, along with staff, monitor more than 4,500 court hearings regarding sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence cases. They are immediately recognized by the red clipboards they carry.

Holding a special election to ensure children's voices are heard

In its 40 plus years of civil war, Colombia has had a long history of human rights abuses, especially against its children. One estimate says about 4,300 children die violent deaths in Colombia annually, which isn’t surprising, given over 7,000 of them serve as “soldiers” on one side or other of the conflict. In response to this, children from some of the most war torn areas of Colombia formed what has come to be known as the Children’s Mandate for Peace Movement.

Building grassroots support to develop a law and lobby decision makers

Association el Amane pour le Développement de la Femme (EL AMANE) in Morocco built grassroots support by organizing 161 consultative meetings in 35 cities and villages that engaged over 1800 women in order to collect the recommendations that were included in a draft law to prevent domestic violence. Based on the statistics of civil society organizations working in support centers for women, nine out of ten women are subject to violence perpetrated by their husband.

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