RWI-EU Support to the ZHRC

In December 2021, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) entered into an agreement with the European Commission (EU) on a cooperation programme entitled “Support to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission” (the Action) for a period of 36 months. The overall objective of the Action is the increased enjoyment of constitutional rights in Zimbabwe.

The specific objective of the Action is the strengthened capacity of the Zimbabwean Human Rights Commission to carry out its mandate to promote and protect human rights in Zimbabwe, particularly through its contributions towards promoting access to national documentation, a human rights based electoral process and good governance in the conduct of state affairs.

The main target groups and stakeholders for the Action are government institutions, independent commissions, traditional leadership institutions, and communities.

This current programme builds on, and is an extension of previous successful institutional support to the ZHRC from the European Union, GIZ as well as the Danish Institute for Human Rights, which strategic support was geared towards building and strengthening the capacities of the Commission to discharge its mandate effectively and efficiently.

There are two strategic priority areas of the EU supported RWI-ZHRC cooperation.  The first priority is to support the ZHRC in strengthening its visibility and trust among key stakeholders in Zimbabwe. The second priority is to support the ZHRC to carry out its mandate and function in the implementation of specific activities in relation to identified targeted areas.

The successful implementation of these two strategic priorities will, overall, contribute towards the following key outcomes:

  1. Increased access to national documentation among communities experiencing challenges, through the implementation by relevant stakeholders of ZHRC National Inquiry recommendations
  2. Government agencies increasingly comply with human rights obligations related to the electoral process, including through improved redress mechanisms for electoral-related human rights and administrative justice violations
  3. Strengthened Public Protector function of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

This programme has adopted a two-pronged approach to project implementation towards achieving the above stated outcomes.

  • The first component of the Action comprises RWI led activities which are inclined towards continued support for institutional capacity strengthening of the ZHRC in its engagements with other key stakeholders in the protection and promotion of human rights.
  • The second component of the Action comprises ZHRC- led activities and these are mainly operational and field activities and engagements with key stakeholders.

In order to achieve these outcome areas, the following activities, inter alia, will be implemented during the year 2022.

  1. Preparatory workshop on development of National Inquiry Follow up Strategy, including the development of a Communication Strategy.
  2. Review of ZHRC Elections Strategy
  3. Development of an operational framework and internal manual on administrative justice function.
  4. Workshop to prepare and design info packs to be distributed in awareness raising campaigns and trainings
  5. Training targeting Civil Registry Department, Department of Social Development and ZRP, traditional leaders, school heads

Establishment of one stop shop mobile registration desk in cooperation with civil registry, and investigations.