Strengthening Individuals & Communities

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.

Creating a transnational body to advocate for and promote the rights of indigenous people

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.

Creating a market to support fairly produced products

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.

Creating a long-term public forum where the police and ordinary citizens can work together to resolve human rights grievances and other issues affecting police/community relations

The CLEEN Foundation, formally the Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria, creates 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.

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.

Contracting with multinational corporations to monitor labor conditions in their supplier factories

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.

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 collaborative partnerships to develop a Local Housing Board

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 numbers of victims who experienced evictions and demolitions of their houses. This problem resulted from the onset of globalization and the government’s development framework which often violated urban poor communities’ rights to housing.

Building allies with government institutions and port communities to prevent human trafficking and protect victims

Visayan Forum, Inc. (VF), in co-operation with the Philippine Ports Authority, runs eight unique halfway house facilities in strategic ports throughout the country’s archipelago. In addition to providing center-based services to vulnerable migrants, this partnership helps to combat human trafficking in these seaports by preventing and intercepting potential victims of trafficking and apprehending suspected traffickers.

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