Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:47

Human Rights Training for Volunteers

Thirty two participants attended a two-day training programme for volunteers at the Human Rights First Aid Centre in Gampaha under NPC’s project, Accountability through Community Engagement and Initiatives for Transition (ACE-IT), which is funded by the European Union.

The participants learnt about human rights, fundamental rights, the Constitution, independent commissions, Transitional Justice (TJ), the Right to Information Act and Office on Missing Persons. They were taught how to prepare an affidavit and a written complaint. Practical sessions demonstrated how to deal with the varied cases coming to the Human Rights First Aid Centre.

Participants said the sessions were interesting and informative and had helped to clear up many misconceptions they had about components of TJ such as justice and reparations.

At the present, 11 Human Rights First Aid Centres are open and receive many human rights violation cases. The project is being implemented in 11 districts of Gampaha, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna, Mannar, Batticaloa and Trincomalee over 30 months in partnership with Right to Life Human Rights Centre.

The focus during the first half of the project was setting up the Human Rights First Aid Centres in the 11 districts in order to provide a new mechanism for the public to access at a time of a human rights violation. There are training programmes for two teams to support victims and survivors as well as training programmes on leadership and good governance for marginalised groups, meetings for community leaders, small group meetings with key policymakers at regional and national levels and training on trauma counselling for women police constables at women desks in police stations.