ABOUT GLOBAL RIGHTS
Global Rights is an international human rights and governance capacity-building non-governmental organization. Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1978 with the name International Human Rights Law Group, the organization changed its name to Global Rights: Partners for Justice in 2003 on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. In December 2014 it shut its Washington headquarters and devolved the center of its operations to its country office in Nigeria, from where the organization continues to work with local activists in Africa to promote and protect the rights of marginalized populations.
For nearly 20 years, we have worked to build the capacity of underserved communities in Nigeria and build platforms for participatory governance, working on a wide range of cross-cutting issues including: women’s rights, access to justice, natural resource governance and human rights; and security and human rights. Global Rights works at the intersection of the protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights through good governance. Mandatorily, women’s rights, access to remedies, and disabilities issues, are focal threads woven through the fabric of all our programmes.
Our programs address governance failures that exacerbate the disenfranchisement and violations of the rights of the poor and marginalized, women, and victims of discrimination. While the need for action is universal, no one model is uniformly applicable and all programs are customized to specific needs and conditions.
Our vision is a just society for all built on the universal principles of human rights and guaranteed by access to justice.
Global Rights challenges injustice and amplifies the voices of grassroots activists to promote, protect, and fulfill human rights. Hand in hand and side by side, we work with individuals and groups to:
- At the community level, build knowledge, skill and advocacy expertise for those with the greatest vulnerability and need for parity of opportunity for all
- Gain access to resources and decision making bodies
- Become participants in democratic life through an on-going continuum of education, skill development and feeling of vested interest to create social change
Our Core Beliefs
Human rights cultures are built by individuals and groups whose rights are threatened, suppressed or do not exist. They are strengthened by allied organizations such as ours, working collaboratively, creatively and with integrity.
We believe that social change begins at the community level and gains effectiveness through partnership with people who share similar needs, values and expertise. We are guided by a strong commitment to equality and diversity in our work to build social and legal change that is long-term and sustainable.
How we do what we do?
- Develop the capacity of community-based organizations, the media and the government on human rights issues.
- Train local communities on their legal and human rights.
- Monitor and document human rights violations.
- Facilitate platforms for stakeholder dialogues on human rights and governance issues.
- Raise mass awareness, utilizing media through documentaries, infomercials, and edutainment.
- Undertake advocacy and research.
The Sustainable Development Goals have created a compelling direction for changemakers to direct their causes and interventions. The implication is to harmonize these goals and align with the thematic direction to fast track the attainment of an equitable world. Global Rights has immersed itself in these emerging realities and is taking the lead to inspire others towards espousing these thematic foci and aggregating silos within the development workspace to harmonize collective efforts. Accordingly, Global Rights’ thematic areas have been aligned with this new development agenda.
Meet the Board
Dr. Odinkalu is a lawyer and till recently chaired the Governing Council of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, in addition to serving as senior legal officer for the Africa Program of the Open Society Justice Initiative. Dr. Odinkalu is widely published on diverse subjects of international law, international economic and human rights law, public policy, and political economy affecting African countries. He is frequently called upon to advise multilateral and bilateral institutions on Africa-related policy, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the World Economic Forum.
Odinkalu has extensive networks across Africa built up over several years of working for human rights and social justice on the continent. He is associated with several non-governmental and academic institutions within and outside of Africa. Among other affiliations, Odinkalu is a member of the Human Rights Advisory Council of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, of the Boards of the Fund for Global Human Rights and of the International Refugee Rights Initiative. He is also the founder of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) at the Nigerian Bar and member of the Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Mr. Ajagbe who is a trustee of Global Rights, is a Partner in the law firm of Aidan Partners, where he heads its Corporate & Commercial practice and where he additionally heads its India Group. Mr. Ajagbe has variously acted for and advised Nigerian and foreign businesses, public and private sector entities on legal best practices and strategy. At other times, he has advised on numerous capital market transactions including a recent listing on the European Stock Exchange. Listed in the International Who’s Who Legal, ‘Kunle is an occasional author and columnist on legal issues, volunteer facilitator and resource person for the Fate Foundation, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse and the Consumer Advocacy Forum. He is both a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the International Bar Association.
Mr. Abraham is the Managing Partner at Ayo Abraham & Associates. He is a US Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and Certified Information Technology Professional with over twenty-two years of senior level experience in Financial Accounting and Analysis, Investment Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, and Management Consulting. He holds a B.S in Accounting, Masters in Business Administration (Finance) and is proficient in both For- Profit and Not-for-Profit accounting. He has held positions in various non-profits including the National Women’s Law Center, in the United States.
Abiodun Baiyewu coordinates Global Rights’ programs and specifically works on Access to Justice, Women’s Rights, Natural Resources and Human Rights, and Security and Human Rights programs from their Abuja office. Her work focuses on programs that address governance failures that exacerbate the disenfranchisement and the violations of the rights of the poor and marginalized, women and victims of discrimination.
Before joining Global Rights, she worked with an array of organizations including the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group, the O’Neill Institute for Global and National Health Law, the Center for African Policy and Peace Strategy, and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity.
Abiodun is the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability, Chair of Justice Empowerment Initiative and a member of the governing board of Annies’ Place.
she was also a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow in the Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Program at Georgetown University. In addition she is a writer, an accredited mediator, dispute resolution trainer, and an HIV/AIDS youth counselor.
Audu Maikori is a Nigerian lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist, public speaker and creative industry professional. He is the founder and Group CEO of the Chocolate City Entertainment. Apart from his very successful music label career, Mr. Maikori has received commendations for his work in developing the youth at several global forums, and has travelled widely speaking on entrepreneurship and youth development.
Maryam Aliko Mohammed is Chief Operating Officer at Modalali. She is an accomplished professional with over 12 years in senior management positions, and leadership of over 200 employees. Her wealth of human resource experience in both private and public sector, manufacturing, education services, oil and gas makes for empathetic understanding of the challenges of managing diverse groups.
She holds MBA with specializations in Marketing Management and Human Resource Management by the Cardiff Business School and a certification in Coaching from the University of Cambridge, UK specializing in Executive Leadership and Developmental Coaching. A member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and the Chartered Institute of Coaching and Mentoring in Nigeria and a visiting lecturer of Leadership and Ethics at the Kaduna Business School.
Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido is a Poetess and co-founder of Whole WoMan Network, a Leadership, Empowerment and Advocacy social enterprise for African women and youths. She is trained as an Electrical Engineer and as a leadership consultant, with certifications in multiple modalities –Strategic Intervention, NLP, EQ, Behavioral re-patterning, Conscious advocacy and Change Management. Her consulting services cut across Government agencies, Corporations, Individuals and NGOs.
In partnership with Praxis Magazine online, Juliet ‘Kego is also the visionary behind Poetry4Change Africa; -a dynamic platform to support African poets and spoken word artists, through grants, scholarships and trainings. Juliet ‘Kego has several years of fieldwork on how rape culture, in particular, sexual abuse in the grey zones, affects women participation in leadership and governance, in permissive, patriarchal African cultures. Her poem – “Today, I will not bow” has been translated into several languages and performed by students globally, to raise awareness about issues that affect women and girls.
Ms. Chapman a trustee of Global Rights, is a lawyer and the Co-Director at the Justice Empowerment Initiative, which she co-founded in 2012. She helped to build community-based paralegal programs and supported strategic human rights litigation in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Nigeria, where she has worked since 2011, she is seeking sustainable ways to bring skills and resources directly to poor communities, which also led her to found the Community Legal Support Initiative.
Ms. Wyckoff an international human rights lawyer was till her recent retirement the Director of Programs, at Global Rights, coordinating international programming of the organization. She holds over twenty years of experience as a human rights lawyer and extensive involvement in both rule of law and access to justice programs in conflict and post conflict countries. She has worked with international NGOs and governmental organizations involved in capacity building on legal services, justice sector reform and human rights advocacy.
Ms. Wyckoff is passionate about women’s rights in Africa and actively supports several organizations working in this regard.