International Relief & Human Rights Initiative is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.
We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, we investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.
We help people living in the greater Washington, State Home Office Spokane, our activities soon will be launched a cross the Country in areas who do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status. Our Spokane and other offices can also help people who are seeking asylum from within a nearby immigration detention center.
Women’s Political Participation and Influence
IRHRI provides studies and research on women’s participation, particularly during conflict and post-conflict situations, in reconciliation processes and elections. Our studies focus on how conflict and instability affect not only women’s everyday lives, but also their inclusion in decision-making and political processes.
Women’s economic empowerment
Assessments, training methodology and evaluations of efforts in strengthening women’s economic empowerment, both as independent assignments, and through reviews of gender mainstreaming efforts in policies, studies and research.
Women’s peace and security, the implementation of Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
IRHRI’s work in these areas aims to generate further international efforts towards the implementation of SR and subsequent resolutions. IRHRI provides policy advice, technical assistance and research for the UN Section of the American Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other key states and civil society actors.
Gender based violence (GBV)
GBV has emerged as a core issue in a number of IRHRI’s gender-focused projects. Through fieldwork, interviews and analysis, IRHRI has built capacity to uncover the realities, analyse the legal frameworks, and provide legal, policy and local development-related advice on how best to address and effectively mitigate the problem.
IRHRI provides research and consultancies on women’s rights issues, with immediate relevance to the situation on the ground. Our work focus on states’ efforts to promote equality and non-discrimination, offer protection and fulfil their obligations towards the international human rights system.
IRHRI has a pool of highly qualified researchers, several senior staff with PhD’s, including staff with professor qualifications within human rights, peace and conflict studies, and humanitarian law. Additionally, we have an extensive and well qualified global network of expert individuals and institutions able to provide in-depth empirical knowledge of a particular country, as well as multi-disciplinary analyses. We carry out basic research projects as well as flexible and creative mixed-methods approaches for both formative and summative evaluations to inform policy and practice and analytical processes. IRHRI is experienced in qualitative data collection and analysis and also small and larger-scale quantitative data surveys and analysis; for example longitudinal panel based surveys and mobile phone surveys.
Our research includes social sciences – with emphasis on political and anthropological studies – human rights and humanitarian law; as well as analysis of war and conflict, peace and reconciliation processes, and post-conflict reconstructions. IRHRI has researched and analysed processes of state formation and constitutional reform, elections and democratization processes, international and multi-stakeholder development programmes, local economies and patterns of production, social and political consequences of conflict, gender-based violence and women´s social, political and economic empowerment, entry points for change, post-conflict rehabilitation and reintegration processes, international, regional and national legal frameworks, and obstacles to their implementation.
IRHRI has expertise in delivering purely research-based investigations and analyses, resulting in reports, academic articles, or books. Typically, such projects address more complex current affairs issues, such as Islamism in the Horn of Africa, political reconciliation and conflict in Great lakes region, arms and arms control, or for instance a comparative study of the legal frameworks of sexual and gender based violence in DR Congo and Uganda.
With a broad joint language base, including many of the key Horn of Africa and sub-Saharan vernaculars, IRHRI undertakes field assignments across these regions, but also through the Sahel belt and West Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Great lakes region of Africa.
IRHRI offers expert legal advice on matters of international and national law, as well as the interface between the two. IRHRI’s experience covers a broad range of areas, including public international law, human rights law, humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict), treaty law, constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law. IRHRI has provided legal advice on matters such as anti-terror and terror-financing legislation, anti-corruption law, and responsible business conduct (corporate social responsibility).
IRHRI’s expertise extends to law making processes, enforcement requirements, and implementation and monitoring mechanisms as well as international courts and tribunals.
IRHRI can provide brief or in-depth legal opinions and advice, or more extensive process support based on broad comparative experience in developing legal frameworks. Among our clients are government entities, corporations, law firms, as well as national and international institutions and organizations. And Individuals and Victims,
IRHRI takes advantage of in-house geographical, political, social and developmental expertise in analysis of legal issues, and vice versa.
IRHRI’s combination of recognized research skills with an experience-based operational approach results in situation-sensitive, realistic and directly implementable advice for both specific strategy and broader general policies, and concrete recommendations for measures of change.
IRHRI has broad experience in offering technical assistance to a wide variety of clients, and in relation to profoundly different processes and programmes. IRHRI can for instance support embassies, donors and other national and international clients in concretizing and implementing their policies and priorities. IRHRI can also create and carry out full research, monitoring and evaluation components for short- or long term projects at all levels of complexity. Other examples may be development of legal frameworks, guidelines for good conduct in certain areas, or preventive measures, for instance against fraud and corruption.
IRHRI has a wide network of local and international experts and consultancies, and draws upon this whenever this is found to be beneficial for the client. This may among other things save costs, add further detail and nuance to IRHRI’s own contextual knowledge, and enable us to work in even more different languages, for instance when carrying out interviews and conducting other research in very remote areas.
Three in four children in Uganda have experienced violence – new report
“You are stupid! Why do you keep failing, yet, your friends are performing well in the class,” shouted a furious Athieno at her eight-year-old son, Opio.
Athieno, a single mother of two, was angry because her son had failed the recently concluded school second term final examinations.
“Is there porridge inside your brain?” she yelled louder while pushing Opio’s head against the wall.
The frightened youngster retreated to a corner and wept quietly.
Opio is not alone. There are many children like him who are continuously subjected to emotional abuse while others face physcial and sexual violence.
Emotional violence is a form of abuse that damages a child’s psychological or mental health. On the other hand, physical violence involves using “physical” force, including beating, kicking and slapping to inflict harm on a child while sexual violence involves the use of children for sex.
The shocking statistics
The Uganda violence against children survey report released on August 9 shows that three in four children in Uganda have experienced some form of violence. Among the three primary forms of violence surveyed sexual, physical and emotional. One in three children have experienced at least two of these.
According to the report, the most frequent perpetrators of sexual violence among 13 to 17 year olds girls were neighbours, strangers and friends. On the other hand, boys aged 13 to 24 years reported friends, classmates, and neighbours as the most frequent perpetrators of sexual violence.
Both sexes frequently experienced sexual violence during evening hours on a road, in their respective homes or at school.
Meanwhile, for 13 to 17 year old Ugandans, adults in the community were the most common perpetrators of physical violence in 2017, with male teachers being by far the most frequent offenders of physical violence against both boys and girls.
Then, for emotional violence, the most common perpetrators against 13 to 17 year olds were biological and stepparents.
Effects of violence against children
These violent actions directed towards children affect them in one way or another.
In some cases, the vice creates a continuous vicious cycle of violence, where childhood survivors turn into adult perpetrators of the vice.
“These children end up growing with a fixated mentality that it is okay to commit violence. They repeat the same offences that were inflicted on them during their childhood,” says Mr Peter Mugabi, a psychologist.
No wonder, the survey reveals that half of all 18 to 24 year olds believe it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife. Still, among 18 to 24 year olds, six in 10 believe a wife should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.
Mr Mugabi adds that violence against children causes other effects, including loss of esteem or confidence, isolation, poor performance in school, among others. And in worst case scenarios, some of these children run away from their respective homes to seek shelter on the streets.
“Some of these children you see begging and seeking shelter on the streets deserted their homes due to violence,” he says.
The sad bit is that even on the streets, these children are continuously mistreated by different parties.
A 2019 International Relief for Human Rights Initiative (IRHRI) report revealed violations against street children by police and local government officials, as well as abuses by members of the community and older homeless children and adults.
According to the report, there is a widespread belief that street children are all criminals and are often the first suspects, for instance, when theft is committed. In the end, they expressed fear of the authorities and a total lack of protection on the streets.