Zimbabwe human rights

New Cooperation Programme Started in Zimbabwe

Photo: RWI Director Morten Kjaerum signs agreement on support from Swedish Development Cooperation for new Zimbabwe programme

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law has started a new cooperation programme in Zimbabwe that aims to contribute to enhanced enjoyment of constitutional rights in the country.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Capacity Development Programme will run from 2016 to 2018. The programme is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation through an agreement with the Embassy of Sweden in Harare.

“A key objective is to work towards legislation, policies, practices and decision-making being increasingly informed by international human rights standards and principles,” says Johannes Eile, Head of the Department of International Programmes at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

A long-term approach to human rights change

The programme seeks to approach human rights change in Zimbabwe from a long-term perspective. Two high-level strategies have been chosen to achieve that change.

The first strategy sets out to strengthen institutional capacities for human rights education and research primarily at academic institutions, but also at independent research centres and civil society organisations.

The second strategy aims to enhance the means and space for the above actors and government institutions in Zimbabwe to constructively engage with each other on key human rights reform issues.

“We expect that the cooperation will support the institutions involved to be better equipped to contribute to reforms and initiatives that promote and protect human rights and the development of increased structured dialogue and joint initiatives on key human rights issues in Zimbabwe,” says Eile.

He says the programme is the result of in-depth studies and consultations over a period of almost two years.

In addition to the Institute, the main implementing academic partner institutions are the Institute for Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University in Mutare; the Faculty of Law at Midlands State University in Gweru; and the Herbert Chitepo School of Law at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo.