In March 2019, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) entered into an agreement with the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe on a cooperation programme entitled Zimbabwe Human Rights Capacity Development Programme for the period 2019-2021. The Programme, which in full is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), takes its starting point in the RWI Zimbabwe Human Rights Capacity Development Programme 2016-2018 and is an extension of this Programme at the same time as it also expands on the same in volume by including additional components/activities and partners.
The overall objective of the Programme is to contribute to enhanced enjoyment of constitutional rights in Zimbabwe, through legislation, policies, practices and decision-making being increasingly informed by international human rights standards and principles.
The Programme seeks to contribute to human rights change in Zimbabwe from a long-term perspective, and in order to achieve its overall objective, the Programme has identified two high-level strategies which are to: 1) strengthen the capacities among main stakeholders to promote, respect, protect and fulfil human rights within their respective mandate; 2) enhance the means and space for main stakeholders to constructively engage with each other.
In pursuing these strategies, the Programme seeks to strengthen the human resource base for such change in a sustainable manner and to contribute to the development and strengthening of neutral platforms for more effective and structured collaboration on strategic human rights reform issues, primarily between main stakeholders, who broadly have been identified as academia, independent research centres (IRCs), civil society organisations (CSOs), government institutions, independent commissions, traditional leadership and media.
In order to give effect to these strategies for intervention, the Programme primarily focuses on cooperation regarding:
- Development of human rights education at academic partner institutions, including programme, course and curricula development and teaching methodology, with a particular focus on clinical legal education
- Scholarship opportunities for human rights studies at academic institutions in Zimbabwe
- Development of human rights library resources at academic institutions
- Support to development and publication textbooks and policy-oriented research in support of the overall Programme objective
- Delivery of cross-sectoral thematic professional training programmes on various aspects on human rights, bringing together representatives of academia, IRCs, CSOs, government institutions, independent commissions, traditional leadership and media, to discuss and share experiences particularly on reform relevant issues and how to apply human rights standards in practice
- Sectoral human rights professional training and capacity development programmes for individual institutions, such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service.
- Roundtables and expert meetings in support of the overall programme objective
Gender equality and human rights of women and the relationship between corruption and human rights, particularly the role of human rights in the fight against corruption, are given specific attention as cross-cutting priority issues, reinforcing the human rights-based approach embraced by the Programme.
It is expected that the Programme will contribute to participating institutions being better equipped to contribute to reforms and related initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights and to an increased structured dialogue and joint initiatives on key human rights issues in Zimbabwe.
In 2019 RWI commissioned an external Mid-Term Review of the Programme. The review confirmed the relevance of the Programme and considered that its approaches, combined with its coherent and clear design, had made the implementation highly effective. It was particularly noted that, while having contributed to build relevant and necessary human rights capacity in different sectors, the Programme has also through its “platform” approach contributed to increased cooperation around relevant human rights reform issues among sectors and actors lacking natural meetings points.
Our main local partners are:
- The Centre for Applied Legal Research, Harare;
- The College for for Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, Mutare;
- The Faculty of Law at Midlands State University, Gweru;
- The Herbert Chitepo School of Law at Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo;
- The Faculty of Law at University of Zimbabwe, Harare;
- The Faculty of Law at Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, Bindura;
- The Council for Legal Education in Zimbabwe;
- Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission;
- Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service;
- Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission
In order to facilitate management of the programme the Institute has recently established an implementation office in Harare, which is supported by the head office in Sweden.
For more information on the Institute’s cooperation in Zimbabwe, please contact:
Mikael Johansson holds a Master of Laws from the Faculty of Law at Lund University, with specialisation in international human rights law and international humanitarian law. He has been with the Institute since 1991 and has held several positions within the department for international programmes, including head of programmes, and has also functioned as the Institute’s advisor on Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance. He is currently the director of the Institute´s Zimbabwe Programme and Harare Office, and the Institute’s Senior Policy Adviser on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights. From September 2004 to August 2006 Mikael worked at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, as the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency’s (Sida), Regional Adviser for Democracy and Human Rights for Southern Africa.
Mikael’s work experience covers management of institutional and human rights capacity development programmes and strategic planning and policy development related to development cooperation and human rights, including results based management and application of human rights based approaches to development. He has vast experience in the fields of administration of justice, rule of law and anti-corruption. He is the current coordinator of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes and he is since 2011 member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law.
Zimbabwe Programme Staff
Isis Sartori Reis
Isis currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe. She has also assisted in the institute’s research on the nexus between corruption and human rights, as well as on the linkages between human rights cities and the sustainable development goals.
Prior to joining RWI, Isis was a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission and an intern at the United Nations. She has been working with human rights since 2012, having volunteered and worked for NGOs in Brazil and Denmark. Isis holds a Master’s degree in Asian Studies from Lund University, Sweden and a Bachelor degree in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Timothy holds a LLM (jur. kand) with a specialization in European Union law, together with a Bachelors (fil. kand) in Human Rights, both from Lund University, Sweden. He currently works with the academic cooperation component of the Zimbabwe Programme, primarily with regard to mainstreaming and institutionalising human rights education and research in Zimbabawe.
Emily holds a MA in Anthropology from Sorbonne University, France and a MA in Human Rights from Malmö University, Sweden.
She currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme in Zimbabwe, and has worked in the same capacity with RWI’s programmes in Myanmar and Vietnam. Before joining RWI, she worked at the Independent Commission for Human Rights – the Palestinian National Human Rights Institution – in Ramallah.
Mutsa currently works for the RWI’s Human Rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe as Finance and Administration Officer and she joined in April 2021. Prior to joining the Instititute, she worked as a Finance Officer in the Environment Management Agency for eleven (11) years, where she implemented a UNEP project as the project accountant for three years under the Minamata Conversion. She has 18 years of experience in the financial processes from different backgrounds such as retail business, finance, environmental service and United Nations Environmental Programs.
Her experience and expertise includes top-level grant/donor and financial management, leadership, donor reporting and compliance, computerized financial mangement information systems, program administration, accounting, budgeting, auditing, internal controls, taxation and financial analysis.
Mutsa holds a Bachelor Degree in Accounting Science from a Zimbabwean University with diplomas in accounting from Southern Africa Association of Accountants (SAAA) and Chartered institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Mutsa has a keen interest i Monitoring and Evaluation which she holds a post graduate degree in.
Moreblessing currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe particularly in the academic cooperation component.
She has more than seven years’ experience working in the human rights sector in Zimbabwe. She has experience in communications, advocacy and project management. Before joining RWI, Moreblessing worked for the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) as the Advocacy and Communications Officer making significant contributions to the promotion of human rights and access to justice.
Moreblessing also has experience working with state institutions including academia, civil society organisations and development partners.
She holds a Master of Arts degree with a specialisation in Human Rights, Development and Social Justice from the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), a Bachelor of Laws degree (South Africa) and a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Society Studies (Zimbabwe).