Sweden scales support for human rights work in Zim

SILAS NKALA

The Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe has extended its support to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and its consortium partners for the Protection of Human Rights project.

This is revealed in a statement released by IOM yesterday which indicated that the approved extension of the project seeks to strengthen the current Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA)-funded “Scaling up Co-ordinated Protection, Promotion and Enforcement of Human Rights for Citizens and other Vulnerable Groups including Internally Displaced persons in Zimbabwe” project.

“Since 2017, IOM and its network of CSO partners have been working to strengthen the capacity of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission in monitoring and advocating for rights of at-risk populations. Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, an emergency response component was incorporated into the project for the period between April-December 2020 aimed at addressing and mitigating the spread of the disease,” IOM said.

“The extension of the project will contribute to strengthening the current protection and human rights information management system and raising awareness on legal and policy frameworks that support and protect human rights through a consortium referral pathway.”

The partners are the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), Civic Forum on Human Development (CFHD), Counselling Services Unit (CSU), Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), International Institute for Development Facilitation (IIDF), Partnership for Development Initiative Trust (PDI), Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and Matabeleland Humanitarian and Resilience Forum (represented by Zimbabwe Humanitarian and Livelihoods Development Trust — ZHLDT).

IOM stated that it would continue to coordinate the project which adopts a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach that takes advantage of the vast experience of the 10 CSO partners who have been providing legal services, psycho-social support, civic education, advocacy, information sharing and case management.

IOM Zimbabwe chief of mission Mario Lito Malanca said the Embassy of Sweden’s extension of this project speaks volumes of their commitment to promoting the realisation of human rights for all in Zimbabwe.

“Their continued partnership with us recognises IOM’s vast experience in enhancing the capacity of civil society and government to protect the rights of Migrants and Internally Displaced Populations,” Malanca said.

Zimbabwe is one of the African countries which have been ranked as having a high rate of human rights violations especially by state security agents.