The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) on Thursday, 10 April, 2015 held a Partners technical meeting at its Harare office to establish how the various partners could assist the Commission to fulfil its mandate of protecting, promoting and enforcing human rights in the country.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Delegation of the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Norwegian Embassy, Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR), Danish Embassy and GIZ among others.
The ZHRC Executive Secretary, Ms Jester Helena Charewa explained to the meeting that the government of Zimbabwe was operating under difficult conditions and was finding it difficult to support the Commission with the required resources. In view of this, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which is the line Ministry for the Commission, encouraged the ZHRC to engage various partners to assist the Commission to effectively discharge its duties.
In spite of the current economic situation, the ZHRC highlighted the successes it has recorded to-date with support from its partners. Some of the successes include being able to undertake such activities as complaints handling, monitoring visits to places of detention and attending to human rights emergencies, commemorating key human rights days, conducting a baseline survey to determine the human rights situation in the country and developing a Commission website to enhance its visibility, among others.
Despite the successes recorded, the ZHRC highlighted some of the challenges it was encountering. Some of the challenges include unfavourable working conditions for both the Commissioners and the Secretariat resulting in high staff turnover, understaffing in some critical departments and lack of resources among others.
The Partners were however appreciative of the work that the Commission was doing under very difficult conditions and pledged to support the Commission as much as they could. They appealed to the government to strive to continue supporting the ZHRC in order for the Commission to comply with the Paris Principles which require that the government should support the Commission with at least 70 percent of the financial resources.
The ZHRC/Partners Technical meeting was held as a prelude to the Partners Conference which will be held in the next two months.
Representatives from ZHRC and Partner organisations who attended the ZHRC/Partners technical meeting in Harare recently.The ZHRC Executive Secretary, Ms Jester Helena Charewa, welcoming guests during the ZHRC/Partners technical meeting in Harare recently.Chief Human Rights Officer, Education, Promotions and Research, Mrs Karukai Ratsauka making a presentation during the ZHRC/ Partners technical meeting in Harare recently. Deputy Executive Secretary – Administration Mr Hosiah Gadzai makes a presentation during the ZHRC/ Partners technical meeting in Harare recently. Mr Joshua Mushauri, an organisational Development consultant makes a presentation during the ZHRC/ Partners technical meeting in Harare recently.