Zimbabwe shrinks away economic rights and fundamental liberties

06/06/2004
Report

The Legal Cooperation Programme (LCP) conducted by the FIDH is entitled “ Training programme for
trainers to international human rights norms and procedures”. This programme is supported by the
European Commission (European Initiative for Democracy and Human rights) and the French Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. It develops various activities in 10 African countries aiming at strengthening the rule of law
through education and sensitisation to human rights, due process of law and conflict prevention.

In each concerned country, the LCP encompassed three phases:

- The Preparatory mission, which goal is to identify pressing human rights issues in the country to determine
the theme of the workshop. In Zimbabwe, this mission took place from 20th to 23rd February 2002, and was
led by Mr Ghalib Galant of the Human Rights Committee, FIDH member organisation in South Africa. This
mission aimed at determining the feasibility of holding the LCP in Zimbabwe through numerous meetings
with government officials, foreign missions and official delegations in Zimbabwe, and NGOs
representatives.
- The Seminar, which goal is to bring together international and regional experts, civil society actors and
State representatives in a common and constructive brainstorming about important human rights issues. In
Zimbabwe, the workshop on “The role of the Government and civil society in sustainable development”
was co-organised by Zimrights and the FIDH, and was held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 9th to 12th
December 2002. The event gathered members from international and national NGOs, together with
government officials. The discussions focused on the respective roles of both government and civil society in
sustainable development. Despite the tense political situation in the country, the debates between duly
mandated representatives of the government, civil society and international experts led to a constructive
dialogue. The participants adopted joint recommendations about the main issues addressed, such as human
rights defenders, the right to food and land reform.
- The Follow-up Mission, which goal is to assess the implementation of the recommendations adopted by
the participants of the workshop while at the same time to identify obstacles to their realisation.

In Zimbabwe the mission was led by Mrs Anne-Christine Habard (FIDH secretary general) and Mr Ghalib
Galant, and took place from 27th August to 3rd September 2003. The FIDH delegation noted the degradation
of the general political, economic and social context, and focused on the situation of human rights defenders,
who have been particularly targeted for the past few months. The mission could also assess the impact of the
Legal Cooperation Programme as a working basis for the participants.

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