Activities are carried out through the Coalition of Civil Society (CCS) program aimed at building an empowered and vibrant civil society in Sri Lanka through network, advocacy, lobby, education, awareness and litigation. Civic engagement is based on the four pillars -- Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination and Empowerment. A total of 08 districts (in the North and East) are part of this programme where there are nearly 10,000 direct and indirect right holders. CHRD currently has trained more than 300 Human Rights Defenders in the North and East. Majority of them are actively working with CHRD. In fact, our field officers are CHRD trained HRDs.
During the period under review there were district coalition meetings, follow up meetings, national coalition meetings, HRDs/WHRDs training and follow ups and secure communication and capacity building training for field coordinators and active HRDs.
Apart from trained human rights defenders and coalition networks, CHRD itself is part of many other networks such as the North East Coordinating Committee (NECC), Women Action Network (WAN), Violence Against Women Network, Journey for Justice, Lawyers for Democracy, Tamil Lawyers Forum etc. Internationally CHRD has worked with organizations such MRG (Minority Rights Group), IWG (International Working Group), Sri Lanka Campaign, Forum Asia, FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), Migration Forum, DTP, Asian Human Rights Council, SAFA (South Asian Feminist Alliance), etc.,
Building coalitions and networks has immensely supported CHRD’s advocacy initiatives. In 2015 November CHRD joined the North East Coordinating Committee and collaborated with W/HRDs, coalition members, activists and families of the disappeared in the North and East to organize and stage peaceful protests calling for truth seeking and justice during UNWGEID’s visit to each district.
Being in existence for nearly 20 years CHRD’s strength rests on its field presence and all activities carried out since inception are designed to be victim/civic centered.
Currently CHRD is working with the affected communities including the families of the disappeared and detainees to critically engage in the transitional justice process, which is merely carried out by the government to please the international community.
The activities carried out under civic engagement and the evidences documented HRDs, WHRDs and coalition members have created a network amongst communities, government institutions and the civil society, which has bridged the gap and made services accessible to a certain extent.
HRDs/WHRDs and coalition members are familiar in their communities and the work that has been done so far by these members have driven out fear amongst communities and has helped build the trust between communities and HRDs.
Victims are approaching the HRDs and WHRDs regarding their grievances and inform coalition of any new issues arising in their respective areas.
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