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Thursday, 05 December 2019 04:52

Human Rights Education for Community Leaders

The Human Rights First Aid Centre in Galle held a workshop for 40 community leaders under NPC’s project Accountability Through Community Engagement and Initiatives for Transition (ACE-IT) supported by the European Union (EU) to discuss Transitional Justice and the on going reconciliation mechanisms of the government including the Human Rights Commission, Office on Missing Persons (OMP), National Police Commission, and the Right to Information Act (RTI).

The community leaders said that they were now able to understand the issues pertaining to human rights. They also raised human rights concerns relating to their areas. They said they had learnt how to complain to the OMP and how to obtain a Certificate of Absence as well as the monthly allowance and compensation. They had heard about the implementation of the RTI at ground level.

The participants wanted the workshop to be held for the public in general without being limited to community leaders. “We gained a better understanding of the state mechanisms established for peace and reconciliation in the country,” a participant said.

A programme to create awareness among people in rural areas on how to use their votes in the Presidential election was held at the Human Rights First Aid Centre, Batticaloa under the same project. Twenty five people attended the programme, where two resource persons explained the voting procedure.

The participants also gave their views on the new leadership. “We hope that the new President will protect the human rights of the minorities," one participant said while another added that he hoped the mechanisms currently in place to protect human rights would continue.

“We believe that the new President will work out reparations for the families of missing persons," another participant said.