Building Awareness

Using the budgetary process to work for equity and social justice

The Centre for Budget Advocacy (CBA) is a program operated by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in Ghana. ISODEC works in a variety of advocacy areas to improve the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians.  As part of ISODEC’s Social Justice and Rights Programme, the Centre for Budget Advocacy examines how national and local budgets impact the human rights of Ghanaians, particularly the poor and vulnerable, and seeks to influence these budgets and the general allocation of public resources for the benefit of disadvantaged groups in the country.

Engaging women for bike rides to raise awareness of violent conflict, and change perceptions

Women cycling together can create a powerful message. To date, over 1,075 women from over 30 countries have pedaled for peace in the Follow the Women for Peace (FTW) bike rides through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and into Palestine to raise awareness for the urgent need for peace and human rights for all. Its core purpose is to empower women to take action for peace and an end to violence.

Engaging victims to develop a community education user friendly guide “know your rights” titled “Detainees Guide”

The Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) developed a user friendly guide to raise awareness about the rights of detainees in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The process engaged people whose rights had been violated in order to understand what the broader community actually needed to know about their rights in order to claim them and prevent future abuse. The process combined community focus groups, field experience and legal expertise.

Engaging local level monitors to document cases of slavery to be used as legal documentation in courts

The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedom (HOOD) trained local monitoring teams in communities to document cases of slavery in Yemen in order to be used by the victims as a legal document in the courts. Utilizing a documentation form that is signed by the interviewer and three additional witnesses who expressed their willingness to testify in the court at a later stage, HOOD was able to document more than 100 cases of slavery in three Yemeni governorates.

Using the foundations of religious and cultural values to promote human rights

Sisters in Islam, as one of the founding members of a joint action group called Malaysians Against Moral Policing (MAMP), has been organizing in response to the growing zeal of the state in policing the morality of citizens. MAMP seeks to highlight Malaysia's Shari'ah Criminal Offences Act, which is often used as a means to invade privacy, scapegoat women and sexual minorities, and violate freedom of religion under the pretext of upholding Islam. In addition, there are several secular laws that the state uses for the purposes of moral policing and restriction of freedom of expression.

Encouraging passage of local government resolutions to influence national policy

Prior to 2003, Cities for Peace, a coalition of local elected officials and concerned community members, worked to get City Councils and other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a US led war on Iraq.  Although the group focuses on the anti-war effort, this tactic has also been used to show local opposition to a variety of federal actions, such as investment in apartheid and the curtailment of civil liberties under the Patriot Act (2001).

Empowering the youth with democratic tools to promote coexistence

The Jewish-Arab Community Association (JACA) in the Wolfson Neighborhood of Acre, Israel, has a youth parliament in which Jewish and Arab youths from the community can take part to learn about and put into practice the concept of coexistence.  JACA teaches democracy and tolerance and helps to develop lines of communication and civil debate in order to develop young leadership dedicated to coexistence in Israel.

Developing international monitoring and labelling coalitions

The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) is developing international monitoring and labelling coalitions through an umbrella organization for the Fair Trade movement, in order to set criteria and standards for labeling and certification. This includes price minimums, pre-paid requirements and other guidelines.  In addition, it manages a registry of producers committed to Fair Trade principles that includes small farmers and cooperatives that sell products directly to manufacturers and distributors.

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