DR Congo: Good Governance
Even though DR Congo has a long way to go until it attains a democratic rule, its inhabitants are now able to enjoy their rights for the first time after many decades. We educate inhabitants of remote villages on how inheritance rights apply and on land rights, i.e. under which condition they are allowed to cultivate a particular piece of land. Additional emphasis is put on supporting law enforcement in the area of sexual violence.
Raising awareness in communities, operating “mobile courts”, training traditional leaders and civil judges improves access to fundamental human rights and raises awareness about what rights people have.
Give Justice a Chance
Through awareness campaigns, such as street theatre, we demonstrate various options of how to solve their problems and we present them with the range of rights denied to them in the country due to a protracted period of turbulent historical and security-related development. Such legal concerns include for instance the right to land ownership, the right to land ownership which in rural areas is a crucial artefact for ensuring a livelihood. Only a small percentage of Congolese know the legal rules concerning land ownership, such as the right of heirs to continue to work their land or methods of solving disputes concerning unclear land ownership. Another important area for awareness is violence. Domestic violence and violence committed by rebels represents a massive risk for local women and girls. We also try to inform parents of the benefits of a birth certificate, or rather what obstacles a child without a birth certificate may face in access to healthcare or when starting school.
A great obstacle to the enjoyment of rights lies not only in people’s knowledge or ignorance, but also in the methods of claiming their rights. Financial considerations and long distances to court (journeys lasting several days) often foils people in their attempts to resolve a problem. For this reason, People in Need now organises “mobile courts” which come to the people in their villages. Community savings associations, known as care groups, which manage to save small amounts of money for essential community expenditure such as healthcare, education, or legal costs can help to cover the financial costs of such court cases.
Read more here (in French)