The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has launched the Right to Peace Campaign, which seeks to equip communities with knowledge and skills in peacebuilding so that they can work together to stop violence or detect any threats in their respective areas.
This campaign also seeks to bring together community leaders and people to work together in building sustainable peace at local and national levels, since peace is a human right that must be protected.
With over 250 000 members across the country’s 10 provinces, ZimRights has created eight action zones to advance peace and various human rights issues in communities.
ZimRights said peace was more sustainable to maintain if communities participated in building it.
“The Right to Peace Action Zone seeks to achieve the following: peace is realized in communities as a human right, communities resolve and transform conflicts peacefully, communities make use of national peace mechanisms which include independent commissions to address issues of peace and human rights violations and independent commissions and government departments become part of the active social peace architecture,” said ZimRights.
The human rights-oriented organisation said the campaign operates in different structures which at the national level, established the National Peace Action Committee garnered from ZimRights’ 11 regional chapters.
“Each province is represented by two people – the peace action coordinator and the regional chairperson. This PAC was established in June 2020 by the ZimRights National Council. The committee started the work of developing the national framework for peace action initiatives,” ZimRights said.
Already at local levels, ZimRights said there are local peace action committees in each province that were established in 2021 and would be useful in this campaign.
“By January 2022, three local peace action committees have been established in three provinces- Masvingo, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These committees undertake various local initiatives including peace monitoring, mediation, peace gardens, training and mobilisation,” said ZimRights.
They added that through the peace gardens, local peace action committees use these initiatives to bring together members of the community, encouraging them to work together while providing a platform for them to freely discuss issues affecting peace and human rights in their community.
ZimRights added it would provide peace masterclasses for community activists.
“The right to peace masterclass is a six-day course delivered by ZimRights aimed at equipping activists with essential knowledge, skills and tools to enable them to be key actors in realising peace as a right in their community,” said the human rights-oriented organisation.
“The masterclass will also empower communities to harness local resources and innovations to catalyse sustainable peace in their respective communities.”