Promoting human rights and strengthening human rights dialogue
Title: Promotion of human rights and human rights dialogue
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry for economic affairs and the promotion of the productive sectors
Overall term: 2015 to 2024
Mauritania has now enshrined in law the main African agreements on human rights, along with the United Nations’ nine core human rights treaties, albeit with certain reservations based on Sharia. The country is also making considerable efforts to embed these international commitments in its national legislation, political strategies and policy guidelines.
Mauritanian-German cooperation supports the efforts of state and civil society actors to implement and enforce these enshrined rights. The project aims to educate people about their rights, develop the capacity of key institutions to protect human rights, promote public dialogue on human rights and improve access to the law.
The conditions for the realisation of human rights have been improved.
The project comprises four complementary fields of activity.
Working with its partner organisations, the project educates the Mauritanian population, especially women and young people in rural areas, about their human rights. The aim is to use information and education initiatives to increase the population's resolve to demand respect, protection and the realisation of their rights. To this end, the project advises state and non-state actors on developing and implementing culturally sensitive awareness-raising measures.
For example, the project provides specialist and organisational consultancy to equip the National Human Rights Commission to carry out its mandate more effectively. Dialogue forums are also being organised to bring together civil society actors, religious leaders and policymakers. The aim is to develop joint strategies in response to current challenges to human rights.
The project strengthens the role of the media and promotes public debate on human rights. Journalists receive training to improve their skills, support their work and reinforce their commitment to report on human rights issues. Another focus is on working with young people, showing them how to use journalistic tools and social media to make their voices and the voices of other young people heard.
Recognised members of the community receive training as paralegals in order to improve access to legal advice in rural areas. In the event of human rights violations, they can provide information, mediate between those involved in a conflict or refer them to the appropriate authorities. Civil society organisations oversee the work of these paralegals to ensure that the advice they offer is of the right quality.
The project is part of a special initiative designed to stabilise and promote development in North Africa and the Middle East run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through the projects that make up this special initiative, BMZ is helping to open up economic and social prospects for people in the region. Within this context, an additional sum of just under EUR 600 million has been earmarked for projects carried out by GIZ and other implementing organisations in the period from 2014 to 2024. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.
- As a result of the project’s activities in the regions of Assaba and Gorgol, as well as in Nouakchott, more than 56,000 women, men and young people have learned about various human rights issues. 77 per cent say they now have a clearer knowledge of their rights.
- 41 journalists from Nouakchott and two provinces in the interior of the country took part in a series of further training courses. On completion, they were supported in publishing reports or articles on human rights in national media or online.
- More than 150 young people learned how to produce reports on human rights issues using their smartphones and to publish them online.
- 129 paralegals have so far been trained. In total, more than 5,000 people have been advised, 9 per cent of whom found the advice helpful.