The Network of Human Rights Defenders project is training a volunteer Network of dedicated individuals to advocate for and monitor human rights across the Maldives. This Network gives MDN the ability to promote human rights, assess the human rights situation and monitor specific violations on a nationwide scale.
Individuals trained under this project receive training in the following areas:
- Philosophy and history of Human Rights
- Rights enshrined in the 2nd chapter of the Constitution
- The democratic system of the Maldives
- Local legal redress mechanisms
- Maldivians and human rights (Islam and human rights / Maldivian culture and human rights)
- International law and international legal redress mechanisms
- Monitoring and reporting human rights
The manual used to train the Human Rights Defenders is available for download here
All trainees are evaluated at the end of the training and successful candidates are accredited as Human Rights Defenders. These Defenders are expected to advocate for human rights in the local community on a continuous basis; report human rights violations to MDN and to authorities where appropriate; guide and provide information to victims of human rights violations; and assist MDN in conducting nationwide assessments and activities.
MDN has established a system to log and follow-up on reports of violations that we receive. The organisation hopes to assist state authorities by identifying systemic failures in the human rights regime and providing recommendations rather than seeking redress in individual cases. MDN does however urge its Defenders to provide assistance and guidance to victims of human rights violations and follow up on their engagements with the redress mechanisms available.
A minimum of 60 Defenders will be trained in 10 atolls under this project by the end of 2010.
The Network of Human Rights Defenders project was established in March 2010 and is jointly funded by the US Embassy in Colombo and UNDP Maldives.