Local Governance and Human Rights Training in the context of SDGs

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights (RWI) working in co-operation with the Centre for Applied Legal Research (CALR) held a professional training programme on Human Rights and Local Governance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at Cresta Lodge, Harare, Zimbabwe from the 2nd of March 2020 to the 6th of March 2020.

The training programme is part of a series of trainings that the RWI with financial support from the Swedish Development Cooperation (SIDA) and with CALR’s technical support held from 2016, different thematic areas on human rights have been incorporated in these professional human rights trainings.

The trainings offer various stakeholder opportunities to network and share knowledge, as well as gaining practical experience regarding human rights. During the training, participants go through a two-week study visit tour to Sweden to learn more about Swedish Institutions and Organizations in the context of Local Governance and Human Rights. RWI is located in Lund, they are gearing towards the human rights city status. Local Governance and Human Rights are closely knitted – an effective and well-polished local governance set up can be a vehicle towards implementing human rights and attaining the SDGs.

Speaking on the first day of the training in her welcome remarks, CALR’s Project Coordinator Mrs. Aminata Ruwodo highlighted the importance of this year’s training as it goes in line with the current initiative by the Zimbabwean government to focus more on the SDGs. Zimbabwe is gearing towards the attaining SDGs. During the Sixth African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Goals recently held in Victoria falls this year, The President informed the nation and various stakeholders that his cabinet was to set up a taskforce to oversee the implementation of SDGs in Zimbabwe. Mrs. Ruwodo further highlighted the importance of this training initiative as it comes at a time when the domestic and international level is working on a common and standardized approach towards achieving a greater target in an agreed timeframe.

Gabriella Fredriksson presented (over zoom) an overview of the International Human Rights Framework and Sustainable Development Goals in the context of local governance.

Participants for this training are drawn from the academia, local government departments/institutions, the Ministry of Justice in Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Public Service Labor and Social Welfare, Traditional Leaders, residents’ associations, Independent Commissions, CSOs and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Participants were in agreement on the nexus between local governance and human rights, discussions were also centered on the link between service delivery from duty bearers and the enjoyment of rights from right holders.