1 General objectives :
To create a conducive environment for graduating students to experience the law in its practical application; as per new externship requirement. Increase the legal awareness of those in the justice sector and the community at large, particularly relating to human rights. 3.2.2 Specific Objectives: ? First, to expand the Legal Aid Center’s activities in Hawassa and duplicate the same in other locations [For details reference can be made to the original project proposal of the Hawassa university law department free legal aid center] ? Secondly, to establish a Human Rights Center based on campus to facilitate and further the common aims of the Human Rights Commission and the University: • Undertaking extensive research on issues of human rights law jointly with the FDRE Human Rights Commission • Advocacy services to concerned stakeholders and certain vulnerable groups of the community on legal matters particularly on human rights; • Launching continuous and sustainable trainings on human rights issues to the community and to the concerned law enforcement organs; • Preparing relevant manuals, brochures, bulletins on contemporary and fundamental human rights issues; • conducting nationwide as well as region-wide workshops on human rights topics and publishing proceedings of the workshops; • providing assistance, to its capacity, the existing or future similar institutions /centers / working to the advantage of vulnerable groups of the community; • Involving in constitutional disputing concerning human rights before the house of federation and in particular with the SNNPR regional state council of Nationalities
Specific activities and strategies
Activities and Goals
-Rights-based advocacy works:
Specific Tasks and Activities on behalf of the Vulnerable Groups
The effectiveness and fairness of a particular legal system is evaluated on the basis of how it treats and promotes the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups. Vulnerability is a special circumstance exposing some section of a particular group to increased hazards or risks as compared to other sections of the society. Vulnerability exists due to sex, age, physical and mental condition, state of health, deprivation of liberty, belongingness to a particular social group, economic condition and so on. To be more specific persons forming such groups are women, children, the aged, disabled, a caste group, the urban poor, arrested and convicted persons, prisoners, those living with HIV/AIDS and so on.
Thus, there has to be some level of effort at least to narrow down the gaps of disadvantage and marginalization and accordingly alleviate the conditions of such groups. One of these mechanisms could be the right-based advocacy works supporting and sensitizing the rights of such groups. For the time being, this project intends to work out specific tasks and activities in the area of rights of detained and convicted persons, children, women,
Thus, different units will be established to work on the agenda of human rights:
1.1. Child rights and Service unit
In the area of child rights and with a view to alleviating the hazards facing children in the Region and the surrounding, the Centre has the intention to carry out specific activities in the following areas:
1.2. Women Rights and Domestic violence Unit
In the area of women’s rights, there are also areas of concern demanding high level of efforts. These include:-
1.3. Caste and other vulnerable groups study Unit
1. 4. Local Governance and Land Rights study Unit
2.1. Making Criminal Justice Fair and Efficient- CREATING A MANUAL for Training to Raise Awareness of Various Justice Organs and Professionals
Criminal justice administration is a delicate issue as it necessitates the balancing between community/public and individual interests. Thus, it is too crucial to identify and make aware the criminal justice guarantees of those persons coming into contact with the process. Such persons are either mere detainees waiting for proper determination of their status (guilty or otherwise) or those serving the period of their sentence after effectively going through the conviction process. The first category includes mere arrestees and accused persons and the second fall under prisoners serving their sentence. The rights of such persons are too delicate: One due to power imbalance between the individual confined and government agents and the usually harassing environment of the police station. Second, there is lack of knowledge on the legal guarantees of such people during the operation of the justice process which may principally lead to miscarriage of justice. Third, there is limited resources and mismanagement of those scarce resources in the correction institutions.
Accordingly, the following activities are identified with a view to familiarizing with various guarantees of criminal justice and the respective responsibilities of relevant justice organs and professionals:
2.2. Training for different professionals in the justice system
2.3. Working as a complaint receiving center and a place where human rights advocacy could be facilitated
Organizational structure of free legal aid
Nomenclature: it is opted to call the center as a human rights center with the view to underlie the very goal of the center, which is addressing the broad spectrum of human rights issues.
Location: the location of the center is proposed to be at the main campus ofHawassaUniversity. However, it is true that the center will establish branch offices outside with the view to facilitate the tasks of the center.
The administration of the center will consist of
The director and coordinators will be appointed and removed by the department dean / head of the law school /. The director shall submit annual /quarterly report to the dean / department. The director will receive payment in an amount determined by the dean / department head.
The advisory board
Duties / responsibilities of director
Mainstreaming committee (selected by dean & director)
Responsibility of the coordinators
The structure is similar to that of the HUHRC; however the director of the Legal Aid Center has the overall responsibility over all branches; as well as duty to oversee joint and coordinated operation between the Legal Aid and Hum. Rts. Centers.
Summary: Strategies, Evaluation and Monitoring
The first part of our overall strategy is to expand our legal aid center, locally in Hawassa by coordinating with the various courts for a permanent presence; then by working with existing educational institutions law departments duplicating our center in other locations in the South. These center facilities will be able to also function as local receiving places for complaints to the Human Rights Commission; as well as local branch of our Human Rights Center. In the final analysis the funding agency is responsible to monitor, evaluate and supervise all functions of the project.
The new major initiative contained in this project proposal is the establishment of a Human Rights Center on the Hawassa Univ. campus to coordinate all the activities detailed in this proposal; especially the awareness training and research proposed.
From the practical, logistical point of view the need for our own vehicle is paramount.
The budget includes travel expense; but our movement to various locations would be facilitated greatly to achieve our common objectives. A used vehicle with 12 passenger capacity would be ideal. This item is not included in the specific items in the budget.
The Center currently operate free legal aid service provided to indigent section of the communities in the following locations.
1. Hawassa City first instance court.
2. Regional supreme court
3. Yirgalem ( Dale woreda police station)
4. Ziway ( Adamitulu woreda court)
5. Shashemene ( west Arsi woreda court)
6. Hawassa University Main campus as main office
We are also mindful of the vital close cooperation with all level of local governors, and justice sector and community representatives in the specific locations.