Strengthening Individuals & Communities

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.

Establishing and building capacity of community-based water users associations to monitor and operate small-scale development

Oxfam-GB responded to flawed water systems in Vietnam by forming and building capacity of community-based user groups as an effective way to ensure the quality and life of development infrastructure construction. Moreover, such community-based user groups help maximize the use of government investment and people’s contribution. In addition, the process helps people to be aware of their rights—including the right to form, join and participate in NGOs, associations or groups to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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.

Engaging local leaders to become women’s rights and victim advocates

The Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW) in Kenya engages chiefs and other local leaders to become women’s rights advocates and resources for victims. The program was formed because of the lack of women’s rights advocates for women who have been subjected to violence. Women who have been abused usually turn either to local hospitals/clinics or to their chiefs. However, none of these groups were able to adequately meet the women’s needs and the Coalition on Violence Against Women wanted to change this.

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.

Using the World Bank Inspection Panel to pressure the government to release social program funds and strengthen human rights

In 1999, the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) worked with a group of beneficiaries of a nutritional social program, the Garden Program, to successfully prevent its elimination. In order to pressure the Argentine government to reinstate the needed money to ensure the survival of the program CELS made a presentation to the World Bank Inspection Panel requesting that the undisbursed tranches of a Structural Adjustment loan be withheld until the problem was solved.

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