4. Specific activities and strategies
4.1. Specific 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:
4.1.1. 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:
4.1.2. 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:-
4.1.3. Caste and other vulnerable groups study Unit
4.1. 4. Local Governance and Land Rights study Unit
4.2.1. 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:
4.2.2. Training for different professionals in the justice system
4.2.3. Working as a complaint receiving center and a place where human rights advocacy could be facilitated
5. Organizational structure
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.
Rationale and objective
To begin with, the law department of the university among other things enjoys particular expertise in the field of human rights. There are sufficient staff members who particularly specialized in human rights studies from different universities and who have a predominant interest to make a contribution in this regard.
Secondly, since the new curriculum of law schools necessitates the establishment of centers where law students can experience the practical implementation of the law, it is the high time to establish, among others, a human rights center at the auspices of the law department.
Accordingly, the department as has been mentioned earlier successfully established a free legal aid center. Moreover, it is now working towards establishing a human rights center which will be working alongside the free legal aid center. To this effect the department has finished all the necessary planning activities so that it can right away go to work with a stakeholder who wishes to work jointly. It is highly believed that the establishment of these institutions will considerably ease the implementation of the new curriculum. Among the newly included courses, the clinical program is the one, which consists of several programs that highly necessitate the establishment of the centers. The clinical program involves ‘child rights’, ’Domestic violence’, ‘HIV/AIDS’, ‘restorative justice’ rights of prisoners’ etc.
Since these clinical programs have already started to be delivered to students, it is the right time to establish particularly the human right center for the programs to be conveyed without any inconvenience. In this regard the University will uphold its smooth partnership with the JLSRI, which is in charge of implementing the new curriculum. Accordingly, our department has prepared this project proposal as a departure for the establishment of the human rights center and an expansion agenda for the already established free legal aid center. In this regard an attempt has been made to outline among others, the rationale for the establishment of the human rights center, the specific objectives of the expansion project, the mission statements, and the organizational structure of the proposed entities.
The human rights center of the law department ofHawassaUniversityis proposed to be established due to various compelling reasons.
The overarching justification behind the need to establish the center is the lack of similar institutions both at the University as well as in the region. It is evident that the existence of such institutions will considerably facilitate the better Protection and enforcement of human rights guaranteed under the Ethiopian constitution and ratified adopted human rights instruments by the country. It is obvious that the state judicial machinery can hardly address the plight of various vulnerable groups of the community
The other reason necessitating the establishment of the center is the pervasive presence of serious human rights violations in the region. As all may well know the southern region is one of the regional states inEthiopiawhere one can experience the heavy handed traditions that impose harmful practices which seriously violate the fundamental human rights recognized under the FDRE and state constitutions in addition to international human rights instruments ratified byEthiopia.
Among these harmful traditional practices the problem of succession of wives by the relative of the husband, female genital mutilation (FGM), abuse of child labor, caste prejudice, and land rights issues are only some of them to mention. It is evident that the existence of a human rights center in the region will considerably reinforce the parallel government effort on the problem. The center will assist the concerned government (state) bodies by providing professional advice and trainings. It will also work in collaboration with these institutions with the view to reduce these widespread harmful traditional practices. Therefore, the existence of prevalent human rights violations in the region has compelled our department to scheme a mechanism of ameliorating the problem by establishing a human rights center.
The other compelling reason for the establishment of the center is the recently developed curriculum, for all law schools by JLSRI. This new curriculum contains a new clinical program that involves, among others child rights, child labor, HIV /AIDS etc. It is highly believed that the establishment of the center will considerably facilitate and ease the practicability of these new programs. Moreover, since the center may recruit law students who render pro bono (free) legal service counseling in the center with meager pay, it would pave the way for law students to experience the practice in addition to the theoretical class study.
It could also be a good option for the graduating class students to undertake their student research and practical attachment in the center. Generally, the potential of the center being a center for academic and social excellence is a good justification to establish it. Hence, beyond its primary contribution to the community the center can possibly be a forum for academic discourse.
With respect to the expansion project which will be conducted by making the legal aid as the epicenter the department wants to widen its area coverage to different localities within the region. In this regard, the department has selected Shashemene, Sodo, Arbaminch, Dilla and Yirgalem as possible areas of its expansion project. These sites were selected due to the fact that there are corresponding higher learning institutions which can easily collaborate with our university. In this to be established centers in addition to the already functioning center in Hawassa city which is rendering the legal aid service that will also be given in the newly to be established unit, services like right based advocacy and working as a complaint receiving center as well as a local location for investigation for the Ethiopian human rights commission will be conducted. In doing so, the activities will mainly base or make the local community the center of attention and work towards giving the utmost benefit to the same.
2.1 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.
2.2 Specific Objectives: