To catalyze an improvement in human rights protection in war-torn communities in the North of Sri Lanka.
The Program hopes to achieve this through a combination of advocacy, activism, training, research, analysis, information dissemination and working with other stakeholders – in order to influence decision makers.
The Programme addresses Sri Lanka’s post-conflict needs in the war-torn areas.
Sri Lanka suffered violent ethnic conflicts that resulted in massive human rights violations. The protracted civil war destroyed social structures, and resulted in marginalization, underrepresentation and discrimination - offshoots of the conflict itself. The conflict also contributed to social uncertainties and rising social anger characterizing the impunity by which human rights violations on both sides were perpetrated and the injustice of having no one to account for such abuses.
There has been no closure to these present post-conflict outcomes as Sri Lankans still grieve over the loss of lives through extra-judicial killings, indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the loss of human security as a result of the enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests and detentions, the loss of property through displacement and confiscation without just compensation and destructive war practices. Sri Lanka must at the same time face the difficult task of rebuilding its shattered community, the economy, and life style. There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither peace nor development without human rights.
The vision of the Programme is a Sri Lanka that is inclusive, free, equal, progressive, and humane, where unity in diversity in all its forms is welcomed and encouraged, and conflict is resolved sans war, bloodshed, and exclusion by working for and / or with the war affected communities. In this vision, no Sri Lankan is left behind and discriminated against, and everyone has equal and unfettered access to law and authority that are both non-discriminatory, transparent, accountable, and holistically developmental.
To achieve this vision, the mission of the Programme is to provide quality and empowering holistic legal and meta-legal services to the marginalized and underrepresented.
There are seven aspects of this mission:
- legal empowerment of communities;
- promotion of human rights and social justice among war affected people;
- protection of human rights defenders;
- research analysis and advocacy based on evidence;
- documentation, monitoring and reporting of human rights situations;
- awareness raising through participatory trainings, seminars, workshops, and forums;
- local and international advocacy and networking.
All these aspects of the mission shall work synchronously towards the Programme’s vision of Sri Lanka using minimal resources and relying upon largely committed volunteer workforce within the target communities itself.