The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO)
The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights, ASADHO, is an apolitical organisation for the promotion and defense of human rights. It was founded on the 10th of January, 1991, in Kinshasa, by a group of jurists, doctors, and journalists.
In 1998, following the government-imposed banishment of ASADHO from the country, the association worked under-cover for two years and five months.
The association is headed by an Executive Committee at the national level and it has representative units throughout the country (Kinshasa, Katanga, Lubumbashi, Likasi, Kisangani, Kikwit, Mbandaka, Mbuji Mayi, Bukavu, Béni).ASADHO's mandate is the promotion and protection of human rights and it promotes activities like popularisation of international norms on human rights and humanitarian law, training of citizens (population, opinion leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, trade unionists, students...) in human rights, democracy, and good governance, and the maintenance of a library to facilitate research in human rights for school and university students, teachers, university professors, independent researchers, civil servants and civil society members. Its protection activities mainly are: monitoring of human rights violations (investigations into allegations of abuse), monitoring of natural resources, continuous denunciation of violations through the publication of press releases, open letters, periodicals and reports, and free juridical and judicial assistance to victims of human rights violations.
ASADHO's network activities vary from being part of national platforms (like Comité Droits de l'Homme Maintenant (Committee for Human Rights Now), RENADHOC (Human Rights NGOs National Network in DRC), GADERES (Action Group for the Demobilisation and Reinsertion of Child Soldiers), RRN (National Resources Network), PCQVP (Publish What You Pay National Coalition), ITIE (Initiative for Transparency in the Management of Extraction Industries Revenue), SAC (Joint AIDS Action), WOPPA (Women Partners for Peace in Africa), RAF (Women's Action Network), Coalition nationale pour le Cour Pénale Internationale (National Coalition for the International Criminal Court), to engaging in regional and international platforms like IANRA and The Coalition of NGOs for the International Criminal Court (CICC, New York), The International Commission of Jurists (CIJ, Genève) ; The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT, Genève) ; The International Federation of Human Rights Leagues and Associations (FIDH, Paris) and the Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH, Ouagadougou).Contributions to IANRA
Within IANRA ASADHO shared its expertise in juridical and judicial assistance to victims of abuse by multinationals. In sharing the results of its research on the extraction industries, it is able to help the network to establish itself, reach its objectives, and achieve its program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Furthermore it contributes to assisting local communities in the promotion and protection of their rights against the extraction industries.
ActionAid DRC is part of an international organisation, ActionAid International. Its vision and mission are similar to AAI's mission and vision: "a world without poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys their right to a life with dignity", whereas its mission is "to work with the poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice".
Based in Goma, North Kivu Province with a liaison office in Kinshasa, ActionAid DRC began its work in 2003, initially providing emergency relief to survivors of Volcano eruption in 2002. It now works with about 20 local NGO and 95 CBOs in the eastern part of DRC including North Kivu and South Kivu. Its program is focusing both on emergencies due to the war situation and on pro-poor development. Actionaid DRC is more specifically working to improve education for and to fight violence against women. The governance theme and the HIV themes are however mainstreamed in the three above cited themes.Contributions to IANRA
From April to May 2007, Actionaid DRC conducted a research in North and South Kivu Provinces (two provinces of the eastern part of DRC) on women's access to and control over land especially for rural women. The research was aimed at identifying and developing appropriate advocacy strategies in order to increase accessibility to and control of the land by rural women drawing inspiration from the global objective of the research which is to evaluate the problem of access to land and its control by women. The research findings highlighted also legal and socio-cultural factors inhibiting women's access to land. Since that period, Actionaid DRC is working on the theme of access, control and ownership of land, engaging with local organizations and with an international link through ActionAid International and IANRA.
Quote: " Being on the ground, ActionAid DRC highly contributes to IANRA's ability to get more information on a specific issue and engage with local community to improve their situation".