To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Access to human rights information vital

By Moffat Mamu

Access to information related to human rights is very important so that people can work together and address issues affecting them. Speaking at the conclusion of a one week human rights advocacy training in Honiara on Friday Edward Anisitolo from the Youth Division at the Department of Home Affairs told the 88 participants that knowing their rights in relation to their land and development is very important.

“It is important so that parties who are involved can deal with issues properly,” Mr Anisitolo said.

He said one way of ensuring individuals had access to human rights information was to attend training workshops. He said such training enable participants to learn about some of the legislation of human rights in the government.

“Many people are not aware about their rights when it comes to development, land and how to address things with other parties and the government as such the training is a bonus,” Mr Anisitolo said. He said the kind of rights, which people should know about include human rights, child right and women’s right.

A civil society spokesperson Tony Wale told the workshop participants of how fortunate they were in attending such a course. “You are very fortunate to have such knowledge. To be aware of the above topics will carry you a long way. You are now able to understand some of these issues that often challenged this nation. Human rights is often regarded by a lot of our people as a foreign trend or concept. To be part of international agreement, treaties and conventions is being part of the international community.”

Moses Ramo a National Paralegal human rights trainer conducted the weeklong workshop on human rights advocacy and issues related to human rights, law, good governance, democracy and the government system.

The training which started on Monday at the Art Gallery ended on Friday with about 88 participants attending the training at their own expense and interest. It is the fourth time for such a training to be held in the country and last week’s training was an open invitation to interested people who can afford $50.

According to Mr Ramo, the training seeks to raise awareness to the locals about their rights when it comes to such things as development. Some of the issues that were highlighted during the workshop included the introduction to human rights and the laws of the country such as the legislation and constitution.

The workshop allows participants to deal with issues related to development that comes into their land and other issues, he said. “Using their knowledge landowners and resource owners can negotiate, consult and discuss issues.”

Following these three steps a consensus agreement must be reached between both parties to allow any developments, he explained. Participants who attended the workshop thanked the organisers of the workshop saying they will share what they have learnt at the workshop to others in their communities. Certificates of appreciation were presented at the closing of the workshop on Friday.

Source of news and picture: Solomon Star

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