AFRIEL successfully conducted the Citizen Watcher Legal Advice Unit Inauguration Ceremony in Jaffna, cooperating with the Human Rights Commission. More than 40 Citizen Watchers from the 5 districts of the Northern Province attended the inaugural event.
The Citizen Watcher initiative aims at enlarging the networking capacity of active youth groups in the north with knowledge and practical experience to improve grievance redress mechanisms and to consolidate civil society activism. The Citizen Watcher Network was mobilized by a team consists of AFRIEL volunteers and the capacity trainees who have received 6-month training on human rights and good governance. After the inauguration, the Citizen Watcher members will work closely with the Grama Niladhari and other authorities in their respective localities to provide guidance for LLRC-related issues and legal supports are available for the Citizen Watchers through the Legal Advice Unit in AFRIEL office.
Mr. T. Kanagaraj, Human Rights Commission Regional Coordinator North, delivered a training session in the ceremony. Various topics were addressed, such as Human Rights Commission introduction, human rights violations in the Northern Province, actions for human rights violations, international human rights standards and human rights law in Sri Lanka, and practical strategies for human rights defenders.
During the inaugural event, the Citizen Watchers formally agreed to cooperate with the Human Rights Commission and to facilitate solutions to the LLRC-related issues. Their efforts will be geared towards improving human rights and good governance in the Northern Province.