The Consortium for Human Rights and Dialogue

Five organizations are collaborating to promote respect for human rights, religious diversity and dialogue in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Dignity, justice and respect for the rights of the individual are central values for this consortium consisting of DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture, Danmission, Euromed Rights, Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders and Danish Institute for Human Rights. Since 2017, these organizations and their local partners have worked in countries across the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) to support safe and peaceful societies were everyone can take part in building a better future.

Currently there are many challenges in terms of adhering to human rights and embracing cultural and religious diversity across the region. Human rights activists, youth, women, religious minorities and civil society organizations are excluded or under pressure. Nevertheless, thousands of people have several times showed that they are ready to fight for change. From ministry officials to the female chair of the small legal aid organization and the field workers risking their lives documenting human rights violations. They are already pushing for development and promotion of individual rights. This is what the consortium and its local partners are supporting.

The organizations and examples of their work and results:

 

DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture (lead)

For more than 25 years, DIGNITY has supported prevention of torture and violence and the rehabilitation of torture victims across the MENA-region. This includes monitoring prison facilities, building capacity of prosecutors and judges and pushing for legal reforms to support the creation of torture-free societies. DIGNITY has been a strategic partner to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2008 and has led the consortium since 2017.

Improving identification of torture victims in the region
Use of torture is widespread across the region and under the current DAPP program, DIGNITY has collaborated with local partners to reach more victims of torture via so-called ‘frontline practitioners.’ These are doctors, teachers and social workers who receive training in spotting symptoms of trauma and torture injuries. Not properly addressed, post-torture trauma can have damaging impact on both individuals, families and surrounding societies. Better identification thus increases the likelihood of victims getting the necessary help, improving their lives and the societies they live in.

For more information:

Website: www.dignity.dk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DignityInstitute/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DignityDK
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dignityinstitute/

 

Danmission

Danmission has been a strategic partner under DAPP since 2011 promoting peaceful coexistence through intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The aim is to support a nuanced understanding of the role of religion and religious actors and show the potential of religion as a promoter of peace, human rights and active citizenship and a preventive tool against polarization, radicalization and violent extremism.

Preventing violent extremism through school teachers in Jordan
Under the DAPP program, Danmission has among other things addressed challenges with extreme Islamic groups in Jordan together with its local partner, the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies (RIIFS). With the support of the two organisations, Jordanian teachers have gotten access to an educational manual to give them ideas on how to teach Islam as a religion based on dialogue, citizenship and human rights. Studies have further showed that this has changed the views of many of the teachers themselves.

For more information:

Website: https://english.danmission.dk/what/dapp/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DanmissionMiddleEast/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/danmissiondk

 

EuroMed Rights

EuroMed Rights is a network consisting of 80 organizations from more than 30 countries in the EU and across MENA. For over 20 years the organization has worked to promote human rights, democracy and equality between civil society organizations in the region. This is done through facilitation of network meetings, coordinating joint initiatives and carrying out advocacy work in the EU and member states.

Promoting and securing rights of migrants in Algeria
An example of concrete impact under the current DAPP took place during the Summer 2018. EuroMed Rights’ working group on migration and asylum became aware of mass deportations of migrants linked to violations of human rights, carried out by the Algerian government. The working group used the EuroMed Rights’ network to gather information about the events, which became vital in putting violations of migrant rights on the UN and regional agenda. EuroMed Rights has been a strategic partner under DAPP from the beginning.

For more information:

Website: www.euromedrights.org/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/EuroMedRights
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EuroMedRights/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/euromedrights/

 

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF)

For the past 15 years, EMHRF has worked to secure protection and durability of human rights activists’ and civil society actors’ work in MENA. EMHRF focuses on allocating financial assistance to allow them to protect their safety, to leverage new sensitive initiatives and strengthen the promotion and respect of universally-recognized human rights and freedoms. The EMHRF has, since its inception, allocated 720 grants to protect and support 932 human rights defenders and NGOs in the MENA region.

Remembering the human rights work of the Tunisian revolution
In the effort to maintain the work of human rights activists, a group of civil society activists, supported by the EMHRF, has worked together for two years to collect digital heritage from the Tunisian revolution. A collection of 6,228 digital material, including social media posts, videos and photos has now been handed to the National Archives in Tunis and used for the library and an exhibition available to the public. This both represents a way to strengthen scientific research and preserve the collective memory of the event.

For more information:

Website: www.emhrf.org
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-euro-mediterranean-foundation-of-support-to-human-rights-defenders-emhrf

 

Danish Institute for Human Rights

The Danish Institute for Human Rights works to strengthen national human rights systems in MENA through long-standing partnerships with state actors and institutions. The aim is to strengthen the capacity of each institution to fulfil its role and mandate and establish a more coherent and well-functioning human rights system through better collaboration. Aside from support to local MENA partners in countries across the region, the Institute works with Danish and MENA actors to create awareness on human rights issues relevant to the public debate.

Supporting future human rights defenders
The Institute has among other things focused on educating tomorrows human rights defenders under the current program. The Institute has thus supported an Arabic master’s program on democracy and human rights with lecturers and scholarships. The program consists of both multidisciplinary knowledge and practical tools to promote human rights across the MENA-region and the support under DAPP has resulted in the creation of a strong network of future human rights defenders across the region.

For more information:

Website: www.humanrights.dk/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HumanRightsDK
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/showcase/human-rights-and-international-activities/