18 September 2013
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Seven New Coalition Members Join the ICRtoP
The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect is excited to announce that seven new Members have joined the growing network of civil society organizations dedicated to advancing the Responsibility to Protect. The Coalition’s new members hail from Guatemala, Indonesia, the United States, Kenya, Uganda, and the Netherlands and carry out programmatic initiatives in a wide range of RtoP-related sectors, including justice, peacebuilding, conflict resolution, women’s rights, human rights, and good governance. Read below to learn about how ICRtoP’s new members are working to prevent and respond to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
Learn more about ICRtoP’s Members and visit our Join the Coalition Page for information on how your organization can become a part of the Coalition. ICRtoP will feature their RtoP-related work under Latest from the Coalition on our website.
The Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) was established in the wake of the 2007/08 post-election violence that followed the country’s contested presidential election. The Centre focuses on research, advocacy, and institution-building aimed at combating corruption and strengthening state and regional capacity for good governance. Some crucial contributions to policy discussions and public discourse produced by AfriCOG include analyses of the preparedness of Kenyan institutions and government leading up to elections in 2013 and a post-election comparison of the legitimacy of the polls in Kenya and neighboring Zimbabwe. To further strengthen its programmatic initiatives and to attain its goals, the Centre also works to facilitate partnerships across all sectors of society to mobilize action and disseminate information. Examples of such initiatives include AfriCOG’s critical role as a founding member of and host for Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), a coalition of Kenyan and East African civil society organizations convened following the disputed 2007 election dedicated to monitoring the implementation of the resulting mediation agreement and working towards the prevention of future violence. AfriCOG plays a similar role the Movement for Political Accountability, a grass-roots network which seeks to empower Kenyans to hold their leaders accountable.
The Ugandan chapter of AYINET was founded in 2005 and focuses on addressing the effects of conflict, empowering victims and survivors so as to prevent future violence, and promoting healing, stability and development. To achieve these goals, AYINET conducts two branches of work: youth and women’s empowerment; and initiatives aimed at providing medical services to victims of atrocities committed in Uganda. With regards to the organization’s programs focusing on women and youth, AYINET works to build and promote responsible leadership for peace and justice to ultimately affect social change. Such work is conducted through a range of initiatives such as using youth groups or ‘friends of AYINET’ clubs to foster non-violent strategies and approaches to conflict prevention; and constructively addressing youth-related violence and its root causes to help build a culture of peace, among others. In the area of medical rehabilitation, AYINET provides outreach to victims who have suffered physical injury and deformity so as to facilitate reconstructive surgeries, follow-up care, and psychosocial support.
Established in 2009, ACJPS is dedicated to creating a Sudan committed to undertaking the steps necessary to protect human rights, and ensure equality, justice and freedom from discrimination. The organization’s work centers on four main objectives: documentation of human rights violations and protection of those at risk; accountability for perpetrators of serious human rights violations and international crimes; ensuring effective access to justice and reparations for victims; and strengthening the respect for human rights in Sudanese governance, society, and culture. ACJPS uses its network of human rights activists and defenders to disseminate data on the state of human rights in Sudan to relevant actors and institutions. Additionally, through its constituency of lawyers, ACJPS facilitates pro-bono domestic litigation and monitoring of domestic legal developments. Other areas of work for the organization include legal and human rights education and training for individuals and groups, advocacy and technical support to advance and implement international human rights standards, and advocacy and support for efforts to use international and regional mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable.
4.The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice (New York, USA)
The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, founded in 2003, aims to advance access to justice and strengthen democratic transition through legal and institutional reform. The Center engages with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (its parent organization) and its committees, law firms, schools and organizations, and NGOs around the world to advocate for and promote human rights and the rule of law. With program initiativesfocusing on human rights and access to justice, environmental sustainability, health and development, and free speech, press and information,the Center engages in capacity building and training to promote and provide pro bono legal service worldwide. Additionally, the Center develops and releases resource guides on topics such as human rights training and publishes reports on a range of issues related to the promotion of the rule of law, including their document on Access to Justice in the Americas. The Vance Center also focuses several of its projects on women’s empowerment and gender sensitive approaches to human rights and the rule of law. With regard to the organization’s work on RtoP, the Vance Center’s parent organization, the City Bar, took an official position in favor of RtoP in 2007 with a statement to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
5. The International Relations and Peace Research Institute (IRIPAZ) (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
IRIPAZ was founded in 1990 with the mandate to work on the development of peace building, conflict resolution and the promotion of positive peace. The organization has since had a close partnership with the UN Association-Guatemala, as well as ICRtoP founding steering committee member, CRIES. The initial focus of IRIPAZ’s work centered on monitoring the peace process negotiations following the state’s armed conflict as well as producing academic literature, and holding events for academia and civil society more broadly on the subject. Since the signing of the peace accords, IRIPAZ has continued its academic work to monitor their implementation, and has broadened its focus to include issues related to sustainable and human development, both fundamental components of peace building. The organization has undertaken initiatives focused on Central American integration through working with a consortium of academic institutions to facilitate the implementation of the bilateral agreement between the European Union and Central America. Additionally, IRIPAZ has recently launched a project with UNESCO support that centers on empowering indigenous peoples through the use of mass media, films, and video production.
6. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom - Nederland (WILPF-NL) (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
WILPF-NL is the Dutch section of WILPF-International, a women’s peace organization founded in 1915 at the International Women’s Congress for Peace and Freedom. WILPF-NL has been involved and active in WILPF since the start of the international organization, but was not able to subsist following the Second World War. In 1986, WILPF-NL was established again during the international WILPF Congress held that year. The organization aims to bring together women of different political views and philosophical and religious backgrounds united in their determination to make known and help abolish the political, social, economic and psychological causes of war and work for a constructive peace. To this end, WILPF-NL focuses its work on abolishing war and all other forms of violence, disarmament, the elimination of all forms of discrimination, and strengthening the United Nations in the areas of prevention and international human rights protection. The organization is extremely involved in and active on initiatives to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, including as a co-signer of the Dutch National Action Plans on 1325, lobbying for international implementation of the Resolution, and participating in the Commission on the Status of Women.
7. Working Group of Indonesia NGO Coalition for Human Rights Advocacy - HRWG (Jacarta, Indonesia)
Established in February 2003, and representing 50 civil society groups, HRWG focuses on advocacy aimed at pressuring the Indonesian government to adhere to and implement international human rights standards. The Working Group also seeks to build the capacity of local, national and international actors in promoting human rights by disseminating crucial information and facilitating advocacy efforts at all levels. The organization focuses its work in a range of areas, including peacebuilding, women’s rights, conflict prevention, and refugee rights. The coordinator of HRWG serves as the Indonesian representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and in that capacity works to advance human rights at the regional level. HRWG also collaborates with members and other Indonesian civil society groups to craft and submit alternative reports to United Nations treaty bodies, such as a report submitted on Indonesia’s progress toward compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.