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.
Strengthening Individuals & Communities
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.
The Saami Council, established in 1956, emerged from the need to maintain strong connections across the political borders that divide the Saami people of northern Scandinavia, to promote cooperation and to preserve their rights as indigenous people. The Council advocates for rights in the area where the Saami have lived for more than 10,000 years, an area that currently spans four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula.
The Rugmark label, now known as GoodWeave, has become a known trademark to identify and promote hand-knotted carpets made without child labor. GoodWeave awards licenses to carpet exporters who agree not to use child labor, and who voluntarily submit to a monitoring system that includes surprise inspections and cross-checking of export records and looms. Children who are found to be illegally working during inspections are rehabilitated and schooled by GoodWeave.
The CLEEN Foundation, formally the Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria, hosts public forums where citizens and police can discuss concerns and grievances regarding crime and police conduct.
Communities and police forces can find themselves in an unproductive cycle of distrust. Community members are concerned about police misconduct, brutality, and corruption. The police, in turn, can see the community as hostile and uncooperative in their investigations.
No To Military Trials uses “street conferences” to raise awareness around the issue of using military trials 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 testimony 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.
The Commission for the Verification of Corporate Codes of Conduct (Coverco) conducts long-term, intensive, independent monitoring of labor conditions in Guatemalan apparel factories and agricultural export industries, verifying compliance with internationally accepted labor standards. Based in Guatemala City, Coverco is an independent monitoring organization formed in 1997 by members of civil society groups; it does not work as a consultant to management nor as a worker advocate.
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 that over 7,000 of them serve as “soldiers” on one side or the 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.
The Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) established "Education Watch" in Bangladesh as an independent, research-based monitoring mechanism to promote and assess progress in Education For All by:
A group of Non-Government Organizations in Cebu City bonded together and created an alliance which formed the Task Force Tawhanong Pagpuyo (TFT) to respond to the growing number of victims who experienced eviction and their homes being demolished. This problem resulted from the onset of globalization and the government’s development framework which often violated urban poor communities’ rights to housing.