Amnesty International, under the special programme on Africa, is currently focusing on women’s access to justice in rural communities.
Community volunteers in Masiaka are currently undergoing a six-day training on domestic violence, traditional justice system and general human rights training.
Masiaka is one of three chiefdoms: Koya Marampa and Buya Romande, where Amnesty will undergo this pilot phase. Amnesty’s regional campaign coordinator, Fredrick Gershon Lawson, said they had drawn participants for the training from community members like teachers, pupils, the war wounded and other stakeholders. “This is the second volunteer training project (VTP) for Masiaka”, he stated.
He said when these community volunteers would have been trained they would then become human rights activists in the community, visiting police stations and courts, doing follow up on cases bordering on human rights issues and generally push for the strict observance of human rights.
Mr Lawson said the teachers and pupils, who are receiving training, would establish human rights clubs in their schools.
Zachariah Deen, one of the volunteers participating in the workshop, told Awoko that they had been brought to a level were they were now conscious of the rights of people, and that with that knowledge they would act as gadflies to ensure that the rights of everyone in their community were respected, especially the women.
He said they would also advocate and lobby stakeholders in their communities to ensure that women got access to justice.
Kojo Ernest Armon, one of the facilitators of the training said they had discovered that there were lots of problems in that community in terms of political tolerance and women’s access to justice.