PARTNERSHIP FOR INTEGRATED PROTECTION (PIP)
Defenders of Human Rights and Activists of Democracy play a unique role in monitoring the compliance of States with international human rights instruments, imperatives of democratic reforms and promotion of sustainable development. Although the latter is largely dependent on the first two, it should be noted that approaches that exclude full consideration of Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 16 and 17 have not been effective enough to solve or propose a model leading to the active participation of African countries in achieving these objectives in the medium and long term.
At the root of these challenges is inadequate support for human rights defenders and democracy activists, who, using socially and internationally developed procedures, closely monitor the actions of state and non-state actors which culminate in the violation of universally recognized human rights and fundamental laws. The work of human rights defenders and democracy activists exposes them to risks likely to compromise the physical integrity or expose them to death. The perpetrators of violations of the rights of human rights defenders use threats as a tool to suffocate efforts for reforms needed by the people to be able to participate in local, national and global development. Threats against Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists contribute largely to the disintegration of the region and serve as impediment factors to the achievement of the national agenda for sustainable development goals. The geopolitical situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, its natural resources and the nature of its public institutions greatly influence the working environment of human rights defenders in the region, and more specifically in its nine border countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Central African Republic and Congo Brazzaville. These 9 countries include a similar history of oppression of democratic values and human rights and violations of the rights of human rights defenders set out in the 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists, often victims of their determination to promote the respect and protection of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments duly ratified by the Countries cited above.
It should be noted that the lack of an integrated program for the protection of human rights defenders has led many to choose between exile and death at the expense of human rights progress, and in turn has slowed down the speed at which targets of goal 16 on the list of Sustainable Development Goals have been pursued. Threats against Human Rights Defenders widened due to lack of partnership with other civil society entities and state departments, lack of knowledge of security management, lack of openness to international human rights mechanisms, lack of integrated research on the protection of human rights defenders and lack of exchange programs of experience between Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists operating in DR Congo and the ones operating in the neighboring Countries of DR Congo, including exiled Human Rights Defenders whose passion for Human Rights should not be erased by the fact of being in exile. In view of the operational difficulties described above, it was agreed to create an Organization called “Partnership for Integrated Protection (PIP) which will operate in the DRC and its 9 neighboring countries in the form of partnerships with other Organizations involved in promoting, protecting and defending the rights of human rights defenders. Not only will this partnership maximize the chance to work for all human rights defenders regardless of geographical limitations, allow PIP to reach HRD working in exile but also create an opportunity for cooperation between human rights organizations in research for the purpose of promoting Articles 16 and 17 on the global agenda for sustainable development, with specific strategies to defy transnational organized crimes that would interfere with set goals among partners.
1. Impact Statement
PIP will have as impact a Pan-African community free from violations of its universal rights and fundamental freedoms.
HRDs equipped to promote, defend and protect human rights safelyb. Public policies are reformed to integrate the aspect of the human rights and a follow-up on the implementation of the reforms is guaranteedc. A strong partnership based on the protection of HRDs, Justice and Peace and strong decentralized institutions is established with state and non-state actors in the region.
PIP pursues the following objectives:a. Strengthen the capacity of Human Rights Defendersb. Advocate for the rights of Human Rights Defendersc. Intervene urgently for Human Rights Defenders at riskd. Support government institutional reform plan for SDGs
a. Protection Department
· capacity building
· advocacy and legal aid
· urgent interventions
b. Research and Partnerships Department
· reform of the justice sector
· research in HRD rights and public policies
· coordination of pan-African partnerships of HRDs and citizens movements
c. Information Technology Department
· visibility and documentation (management of the website, publication of HRD actions and visibility of the organization)
· digital security, technical support and technological innovations
· development and management of the database
d. Organizational Management Department
· planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects
· Human Resource administration
· Finance and logistics
B.Main areas of work
- Protection of Human Rights Defenders through:
- Advocacy and legal aid
- Capacity building
- Urgent intervention
- Promotion of sustainable development goal 16 through:
- Policy support to decentralized public institutions
- Learning sessions between civil society organization and public institutions
- Informative research on targets of SDG16