ABOUT US

Global Rights is distinctive in its grass roots approach that strengthens activists to document and expose human rights abuses, conduct community outreach and mobilization, advocate for legal and policy reform, and provide legal and paralegal services.

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 vision is a just society for all built on the universal principles of human rights and guaranteed by access to justice.

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.

Global Rights exists to:

  • Document and expose violations,
  • Conduct community education and mobilization,
  • Advocate for legal and policy reform,
  • Use the courts as well as traditional means of dispute resolution on behalf of disadvantaged populations, and
  • Engage the international community, including the United Nations and regional bodies in critical human rights issues
  • Shift power imbalances through access to justice

Global Rights’ programs address governance failures that exacerbate the disenfranchisement and the 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 local needs and conditions.

 

OUR PROGRAMMES

Access to justice, as defined by the United Nations Development Program and understood and accepted within the international human rights community, means that laws and remedies must be just, equitable, and sensitive to the needs of the poor and marginalized. At the same time, difficulties encountered by vulnerable populations in understanding and asserting their legal rights require the attention of legal institutions. Equal access to justice, whether through the courts or other legal mechanisms, therefore creates a crucial precondition for broad-based prosperity and security under the rule of law.

Where there is a real or perceived breakdown of rule of law, and where political, legal, economic, and institutional biases and barriers marginalize segments of the population, equal access to justice is not a given.
Global Rights therefore focuses on vulnerable populations and their legal challenges. We help the poor and marginalized access legal systems, thereby increasing governmental accountability and public faith in the rule of law.

In recent years, both the nature and extent of human rights violations have significantly worsened in Nigeria concurrent with rising insecurity and violence. Most of these violations play out in the theatre of the on-going insurgency and the counter-terrorism operations of security forces, with limited opportunities for redress for victims. In this militarized situation, there is little state accountability and vulnerable populations have become victims of indiscriminate attacks by both the military and insurgents, who act without adherence to the norms of the standards care for civilians.

Global Rights therefore works with vulnerable groups and communities to demand accountability of security forces and ensure the rights of citizens are promoted and protected. We do this by promoting adherence to the rule of law even in asymmetrical warfare, amplifying the voices of indigent communities caught between government security forces and insurgents, and are particularly at risk of having their basic human rights violated, given the often long histories of weak governance, inadequate resources and lack of basic understanding of their rights; and how to hold government accountable for their protection.

Women’s rights and gender equality is at the core of Global Rights’ work. Our particular emphasis on the rights of women is woven through all of our initiatives and also as standalone program. We have been working in Northern Nigeria for over a decade by building the capacity of local activists to provide community based paralegal services (legal first aid) to indigent women who are particularly vulnerable given the paucity of access to justice in the region. Our paralegal services partners work alongside indigent women to ensure that they can understand and assert their rights in cases involving issues such as forced marriage, child custody, domestic and sexual violence.

Top priorities on our women’s rights and gender equality program are sexual and gender based violence, women’s participation in democratic life and their access to socio-economic opportunities, ensuring gender mainstreaming in every facet of national life.

For extractive host communities, expectations of a better life are too often replaced by an overwhelming sense of injustice. They lose their lands and livelihoods, grapple with pollution affecting their environment and health, see women disproportionately affected, and have little or no say in the processes that determine if and how their resource rich lands will be exploited. Their compounding frustrations are often expressed through violence, contributing to increased insecurity.

Global Rights therefore partners with civil society organizations and extractive host communities to strengthen their ability to prevent, monitor and document human rights violations and abuses, and to design and implement engagement and advocacy strategies with the government, companies, and other identified stakeholders.
Our vision is for extractive host communities:

  1. To have the ability and means to assert, protect and monitor their rights with knowledge and skills;
  2. To meaningfully participate in the decision-making processes that determine their future;
  3. To equitably share in the benefits that natural resource development can bring.

OUR TEAM

Abiodun Baiyewu
Country Director
Yinka David Oguntade
Admin and Finance Manager
Tsema Okoye
Program Officer
Jacquelyne Jasper-Ikpendu
Admin Officer
Paul Abutu
Communications & Development Officer
Olaronke Famuyiwa
Intern
Tosin Gbolasere
Intern