Centre for Human Rights & Governance is a non-governmental organization dedicated to promote and defend civic, social, political, cultural and economic rights by implementing all conventions defending the human rights at local and national levels in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Centre for Human Rights & Governance was founded in 2002 during the height of the wars that raged in the eastern region of DR Congo. The desire to start this organization has been heaped by far the greatest human rights violation, suffering on the civilian populations caught in the crosshairs, deprivation, and displacement. It was established during the continued countrywide abuses which violate the spirit, intent and articles of UDHR, and many other conventions, the documents ever ratified by the community of nations.
Since 2002, this organization has been deeply involved in various programs of human rightspeace and governance, all aimed at creating a peaceful atmosphere for effective stability. Human rights has been one major area that CHRG has championed over the years to date and now is currently championing the course of peacemaking, conflict transformation and governance.
A society in which everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the highest attainable human rights and highest standard of health, education, justice and well-being, regardless of social, cultural, economic or any other status.
To prevent further erosion of civic, social, political, cultural and economic rights and contributing towards respect, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of individuals and groups through human rights monitoring and advocacy of both national and international human rights normative frameworks in Congo.
Respect people in their diversities
Accountability and transparency
Centre for Human Rights & Governance supports and promotes local rule of law, citizen participation, accountability through a combination of research and actions that strengthen existing local capacities to promote good governance. The aim to promote local governance is because, more than two decades of misrule and civil wars have devastated the country’s leadership, social fabric, citizen participation, and democratic values.
There is no gainsaying that there is a need to build a democratic culture in DR Congo especially at this point in time wherein many countries are in democratic transitions. We partner with other organizations, the government, legislators and the international community to ensure that democratic culture, principles and institutions ideal for the advancement of human rights and individual freedom are nurtured.
We encourage state officials to take positive steps to build and nurture appropriate modifying political institutions, and giving the population the opportunity to be actively involved in the political life of the State.
Though the character of the Centre for Human Rights and Governance in DRC remains apolitical, we seek the introduction and development of the culture of democracy without furthering the political agenda of any political association.
In many areas of the human rights record remains considerably poor, and numerous serious abuses are being committed. Unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, rape, and arbitrary arrest and detention increased over the years. Harsh and life-threatening conditions in prison and detention facilities; prolonged pretrial detention; and arbitrary interference with privacy, family, and home also remain serious problems that communities are currently facing.
Serious violations of women’s rights in DRC remain unchecked and are on the rise everyday. Congolese women are the victims of systematic gender-based violence, sexual violence and discrimination facilitated by internal institutions, cultural practices and social norms that deny women equal rights as human beings. These have been challenges to effective compliance of women’s rights in Congo. Centre for Human Rights &Governance believes that the rights of women are crucial in any society and thus seeks to promote those rights through various institutions at local, regional and continental levels.
We implement programs that promote women’s economic and human rights, support women activists and lawyers, and confront harmful cultural, traditional or religious practices. We partner with organizations, civil society, clergy and traditional rulers in working for the respect of women rights. We also organize working sessions with traditional leaders and the local communities on the benefits to the society for women to be treated on an equal basis with men.
Children count for approximately half of DRC’s population. However, despite the sheer numbers, there is little awareness of international human rights standards relating to the rights of the child. Congolese children have been the subject of neglect especially in provinces plagued by conflicts. Children are victims of rape and other forms of sexual and economic exploitation. They suffer gaps in education; in conflict societies they are separated from their families and conscripted as militias. In post conflict societies, they are not easily reintegrated. Domestic laws relating to the rights of a child remain outdated and the steps towards law reform have been relatively slow.
The Centre for Human Rights and Governance lays special emphasis on the rights of the child through identifying the problems that facilitate the violation of the rights of the child and engaging in educating the various communities through public lectures and sensitization campaigns. We train local stakeholders on improving the rights of the child and provide legal aid for juveniles, including advocacy for law reform in such countries.
Old persons’ rights
Centre for Human Rights & Governance is committed to raise awareness among older men and women on their rights, and the laws and policies that affect them. It takes the lead in collecting and documenting the challenges faced by older people in their local areas, the safety and wellbeing of older people affected by protracted escalation of unrest in eastern Democratic of Congo.
As thousands of old people who have fled their homes in the continued eruption of violence in Kivu provinces live in poorest conditions to date in villages or in their their displacement, we trive to reach out the most disadvantaged and urge Congolese government to account for the fulfilment of their human rights.
Centre for Human Rights & Governance works to integrate national and ethnic minorities into the mainstream as women and men from minority communities face a unique set of challenges on account of their gender and community status, a form of intersectional discrimination that is often particularly difficult to address.We cares for ethnic minority protection and works to enhancing equitable representation, strengthening the use of minority languages, curbing discrimination ill all forms and building their confidence among other communities.
The discrimination for minority communities can be especially isolating, pushing them further into disadvantage and deprivation and their situation are unlikely for the majority community to experience the same barriers, challenges, struggle.
Centre for Human Rights & Governance’s aim is to protect communities in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies, build peace side by side with local communities, and advocate for the wider adoption of these approaches to safeguard human lives and dignity. It envisions a culture of peace in which conflicts within and between communities are managed through nonviolent means. We are guided by principles of nonviolence, non-partisanship, primacy of local actors, and civilian-to-civilian action.
CHRG brings together parties to a conflict those who have acted, those directly impacted and the wider community within an intentional systemic context, to dialogue as equals. Participants invite each other and attend voluntarily. The dialogue process used is shared openly with all participants, and guided by a community member. The process ends when actions have been found that bring mutual benefit.
Building Inclusive Governance
Peace requires support from political and economic structures in order to be sustainable. Throughout our peacebuilding programs, we support communities affected by conflict to shape decision-making and policy processes. We engage a wide range of civil society and governmental actors to inform policies and advocate for changes that promote more inclusive, accessible, and transparent governance.
The social, ethnic, and political divides that foment violent conflict are often mirrored in institutions: in how resources are allocated, how services are delivered, and which voices are (and are not) represented. For peace to succeed, it is critical to address the underlying injustices that fuel conflict. To that end, we build the collective advocacy skills of community-based peacebuilders and engage political representatives, decision-makers, and policymakers in developing reforms that support lasting peace.
Dialogues across deep divides
The skillful use of facilitated, structured dialogue allows people on either side of conflict to discover their shared hopes and goals, and nurture authentic partnerships across divides to develop solutions. The practice of dialogue is central to nearly all Center programs.
Dialogue can have a deeply transformative impact on participants who have become alienated from each other by past intergroup violence, or who have been subjected to dehumanizing stereotypes and misperceptions. The mutual understanding and commitment among dialogue participants emerges as a foundation upon which broader outreach, advocacy, and community-building initiatives can be built.
Preventing Violent Extremism
Violent extremist ideologies can arise within any religious or cultural identity group. In a wide variety of contexts, we have seen that responses to extremism which rely primarily on military force often backfire and add fuel to the threat. We therefore focus on non-military approaches that reduce community vulnerability to violent extremism and strengthen resilience against recruitment. These are proven tactics for slowing the spread of violent extremism that carry little risk of causing new harm.
We work with institutions to develop strategies that support whole societies to prevent the spread of violent extremist movements by engaging religious and traditional leaders, civil society networks, women, youth, and more. Because violent conflict creates fertile ground for extremist organizations to grow, we also incorporate prevention throughout our programs at the community level.
Healing and Reconciliation
Where societies in DRC have been torn apart by violence, people can experience deep emotional pain. Our programs create space to discuss underlying grievances constructively, repair relationships between conflict-affected groups, and ultimately interrupt continued cycles of revenge.
Through structured dialogue, shared community projects, joint problem-solving, and trauma healing programs where appropriate, we focus on rebuilding a sense of trust and safety—and a shared vision of a more peaceful future. We then collaborate to share participants’ experiences of commonality and healing with a broader public, as a counterweight to narratives that dehumanize or target others.
Prevention of Mass Atrocities
Widespread and systematic violence against civilians, mass atrocities is among priorities for the CHRG because of the devastating human, social, political and economic harm that results when entire populations or minority communities are targeted. The program focuses attention understudied cases and issues within mass atrocities. The program argues that the dominantly normative approach to the study of and engagement on issues related to atrocity prevention and response has skewed research questions and policy recommendations.