IHRLG provides various opportunities for NGOs to share experiences with activists from other communities within the Great Lakes region and from other areas of the world, to develop comparative understanding of human rights norms, and to enhance their ability to use international mechanisms in their advocacy for domestic law reform.
Our Burundi team nominates representatives from partner NGOs to participate in IHRLG's Advocacy Bridge Program (conducted in Washington and Geneva, during the annual sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights) and supports NGO efforts to promote ratification of human rights treaties and governmental compliance with international human rights standards.
In addition to joining forces with the IHRLG training team in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the areas of human rights monitoring and challenges of democratic transition, our Burundi staff has facilitated the networking and collective advocacy of Burundian NGOs and communities by
- Bringing the "Advocacy Bridge experience" home: IHRLG and the 2001 participants from Burundi facilitated a meeting between the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Burundi and a delegation from five NGOs to negotiate their provision of regular documentation for use in annual reports submitted to the UN Commission on Human Rights.
- Amplifying the voice of the Batwa Community at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism: The Batwa represent 1% of the population and are excluded from socio-political and economic benefits by the Hutu and Tutsi communities. In preparation for the World Conference, IHRLG organized a roundtable gathering Batwa from seven provinces. Roundtable participants prepared a document on types of discrimination the Batwa face, which was submitted at the Conference by a representative of that community whose participation IHRLG had facilitated.