Project STRACE Bi-Annual E-Newsletter Center for Human Rights (CHR)
The Center for Human Rights is established with the mission of promoting human rights through multidisciplinary research, training and community service programs.
The Center for Human Rights was established in October 2008 as part of Addis Ababa Universi- ty’s epistemological and structural shift from a primarily undergraduate studies’ institution to a research-oriented graduate university. The Centre for Human Rights has the mission of advancing the rule of law, democratic governance and human rights in Ethiopia through high-end research, teaching and community services.
Currently, the Center for Human Rights is organized under the College of Law and Governance Studies, established in 2012 as umbrella institution for the Center, the Institute of Federal Studies and the School of Law.
The Center kicks off New Project Implementation
Center for Human Rights, College of Law and Governance Studies of the Addis Ababa University, launched a new project to support teaching, research and community engagement in Human Rights (STRACE-Project). The launching ceremony was held at Eshetu Chole Hall 1st June, 2018 in the presence of university senior administrators, ambassadors and invited guests.
The project is funded by Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA) and Embassy of Norway, Addis Ababa. It is expected to enhance capacity of state organs become active actor of human rights, policy dialogue, and development of graduate programs, better protection of rights of women, children, disabled people, workers, migrants and legal aid provision to members of disadvantaged social groups.
Matewos Ensermu (PhD), Vice President for Administration and Student Services, appreci- ating the donors, noted that the university dili- gently works for the accomplishment of the project. He further reiterated that the project has paramount significance to create awareness and an environment in which economic, social and cultural rights could be better promoted and protected.
Speaking on the ceremony Anette Dahlstrom, Counselor, Human Rights and Democracy, Embassy of Sweden, Addis Ababa; stated that human rights constitute a set of rights and du- ties necessary for the protection of human dig- nity, inherent to all human beings. “The pro- ject is instrumentally important in strengthen- ing technical capacities of national human rights institution and the government to en- hance human rights protection,” said the counselor.
Wondemagegn Tadesse (Dr. Jur.), Head, Cen- ter for Human Rights, AAU, in his brief presentation highlighted overview of the pro- ject, its components and expectations. Accord- ing to him, the center is an academic unit and part of the university.
It intimately works hand in hand with govern- ment offices, other universities; local and in- ternational organizations so as to solve its re- sources constraints and enhance its teachings, research and community services in human rights. “This project is also part of that initia- tive of the university,” said Wondemagegn. He also asserted that the Center generally engages in constitutional rights including citizens’ par- ticipation as an effective remedy. All the ac- tivities such as the research and community service are therefore geared towards the five strategic themes.
Developing graduate programs and text books, preparing short term modules, organizing dif- ferent policy dialogues that augment the im- plementations of activities for the betterments of human rights, providing community based trainings and legal aids, undertaking empirical research and organizing student and staff ex- changes including enhancing the capacity of the center and the college were mentioned as the major activities that would be implement- ed within the project periods.
Dr. Wondemagegn also stated that the center is committed to human rights, good govern- ance, rule of law, and to the protection of vul- nerable groups contributing to the culture of human rights. And He finally called for stake- holders to closely work with the center
Through the provision of access to information and feedbacks, the participants also expressed their contentment for the center to cordially extend their efforts in support of the center during the projects implementation.
Addis Ababa University Center for Human Rights colorfully celebrated the World Refugee Day with a panel discussion under the theme “The protection of refugees in an era of increased hostili- ty” on June 20, 2018 at Eshetu Chole Hall.
Solomon Negussie (PhD), Dean College of Law and Governance Studies, AAU, in his welcoming remarks noted that it is important to celebrate World Refugees Day as the issues of refugees have become risky and challenging worldwide. “And observing this day in Addis Ababa University would be relevant more than any other department or institutions in the University to the center for Human Right as the Center has become a center of excellence concerning Human Rights,” said the dean in his statement.
He also added that it was an important and meaningful event to discuss the obstacles that the refugees face as well as to celebrate their courage and strength, which they face throughout their journey to make their life easier in any other parts of the world than their origin or residence.
Wondmagegn Tadesse (PhD), Director, Cen- ter for Human Rights, Addis Ababa Universi- ty, also stated that the number of displaced people has been significantly increasing where women and children take the majority; in addition, the situation is getting worst part- ly because of the increasing number of the misconception about refugees.
The director went on stating that as statistics shows Ethiopia has become Africa’s largest refugees hosting country, Because of that all of us should work to pre- vent and bring to an end such abuses and ex- ploitation. “As we all know reforms are un- derway with regard to political, economic and social aspects we hope the situation would improve and we can avoid unnecessary flights of Ethiopians, therefore, ensuring our ability to protect and integrate returnees as well,” said Dr. Wondemagegn.
Four panelists presented their paper on the area of refugees during the event. World Ref- ugee Day is held annually on June 20 to draw attention to the plight of refugees across the globe. The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is: “Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees.”
The Center for Human Rights, College of Law and Governance studies of Addis Ababa University under Project STRACE-CHR con- ducted training of trainers from June 25-29, 2018 in Addis Ababa.
The training was given to 36 individuals drawn mainly from universities, government and other Civil Society organizations in the Addis Ababa, Adama, Ambo, Hawassa,and Gambella such as justice offices, courts, Ethiopian Lawyers’ Association and Ethiopian Women Law- yers Association.
Yitaktu Tibebu, sub-project manager of community based human rights promotion and protection wel- comed the participants and explained the purpose of the training that it acquaints the trainees with design- ing, organizing and conducting participatory human rights training programs; human rights in general and rights of women, children, workers, migrants and persons with disabilities with the focus on recurrent hu- man rights violations encountered by these vulnerable groups.
Kuribachew Hailu, training and support coordination officer of the project on her part said that individuals who were trained will train community members drawn from membership based associations such as local elders, Idirs, women associations and labor unions to promote human rights awareness in general and the rights of the targeted vulnerable groups within their communities in a sustainable manner.
The Project to Support Teaching, Research and Community Engagement in Human Rights (STRACE – CHR) was launched on June 1, 2018 so as to support the university’s efforts of teaching, research and com- munity engagement in Human Rights.
The Center for Human Rights (CHR) , Addis Ababa University College of Law and Govern- ance, conducted half day induction program for selected paralegals to engage in provision of free legal service in its Addis Ababa Project Office on July 6, 2018.
Tamru Kedir, legal advisor of the project, on his opening speech welcomed the participants and said that the program is an introductory session. He also added that the induction program was prepared with aim of introducing paralegals with the working environment, their colleagues, their roles and principles and procedures they have to abide by during free legal service.
Kuribachew Hailu, Training and Support Coordination officer of the project, point- ed out the five main princi- ples, provision of legal ser- vice without pay, confidenti- ality, impartiality, independ- ent and empowering which paralegals have to abide by.
She briefly discussed these principles by focusing on their application while ser- vice provision. According to her, “Taking these principles into considerations while offering free legal services is of paramount importance.
Yitaktu Tibebu, Sub-project Manager of Community Based Human rights promotion and protec- tion, briefly introduced the paralegals the main stages of interview. She also underlined “The paralegal service is very sensitive because we serve vulnerable clients. So in order to offer the ser- vices effectively, the paralegals should be very skillful in handling interviews. These help them to identify the major issues of the clients and easily lever the cases.”
Mahider Geleta, Addis Ababa Area Manager briefly highlighted the importance of case records and familiarized the paralegals with CHR’s case recording form. “While interviewing and handling of client issues, case recording using scientific procedures is compulsory and helps the paralegals to easily trace and link the issues. It is also used as a commu- nication bridge between the paralegals, area manager and their clients”, Mahider Geleta, Addis Ababa Area Manager, added.
The major issues covered during induction program are principles advise giving, interview skills and case recordings.
The Center opened its Addis Ababa Area Office around Arat Killo to provide legal services to the project’s target groups and others dwelling in the city that cannot afford to pay for the legal ser- vices. The project was launched on June 1, 2018 so as to support the university’s efforts of teach- ing, research and community engagement in Human Rights.
Addis Ababa University Center for Human Rights Tele: +251-0111223783
Facebook Page: Center for Humanrights,Addis Ababa University Twitter:@aau_chr Website:humanrights.aau.edu.et