Policy Memorandum: Human Rights Implementation

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Abstract

Human rights make up for the most critical pillar in human empowerment in regards to recognizing one’s position in the society as well as his or her role with their government’s obligations. The recent terror attacks and subsequent war in Somalia have resulted in the eradication of human rights, with the operating system of governance failing to recognize the need for human rights and freedoms. Current international peacekeeping missions in the country have been vital in securing the people’s livelihood, combating the common enemy and restoring peace. CARE has been significantly involved, extending its humanitarian efforts to feed and provide other basic needs to the afflicted families. This action has brought some hope to the terrorized innocent civilians, who have lost loved ones and friends to the bloody war. As part of reconstruction in a post-war scenario, human rights education will play a vital role in empowering the afflicted individuals. The devastation caused by the war has rendered most people homeless and needy, and the need for governmental support is critical. This memo aims to illuminate the state of the devastation, and the effects of adopting this strategy in regards to resultant output and impact on the community. 

Keywords: CARE, Somalia, Human rights, Al-Shabaab, Wars 

Summary

This memorandum is in response to the undergoing peacekeeping mission in Somalia. As we continue to restore peace by supporting the afflicted families, there is still need to diversify our approaches and aid the unfortunate by other means. I have been with most of these individuals and have realized a prevalence in their disregard for themselves with a grave inferiority complex. This realization led me into enquiring information through extensive research on the issue. I led my department into running questionnaires and interviews to the aggrieved Somalis, which proved my hypothesis. The human right infringements and other aspects of war have hindered education of the people in regards to their human rights. In most communities that we have visited, most people are devastated, not only economically, but also mentally and emotionally (Julian & Schweitzer, 2015). They have been through the most inhumane acts, with children watching their parents slaughtered, and parents their children. The devastation is immense and equally critical as any other part of the reconstruction process. Human rights are vital in ensuring peace and democracy, which lie at the heart of CARE’s organizational structure. In our transition efforts, we must recognize the need for educating people to eliminate the menace permanently efficiently and sustainably. I recommend that CARE embarks on teaching the afflicted Somalis in an attempt to promote human rights awareness as a means of empowerment and reconstruction. 

Background Information

The Somali War has dramatically devastated the country, with most of the citizens seeking refuge in neighboring nations. The war has been a bloody one, with the southern part being the most afflicted. Dead bodies have been a familiar sight to citizens of the country, and most of them have been affected by the war, directly or indirectly (Curran, Fraser, Roeder, & Zuber, 2015). There are many orphaned children, who have lost their parents to the war, with some witnessing their loved one’s final moments. Such exposure leads to an emotional breakdown, a phenomenon prevalent in the state. The reconstruction process has been successful in the restoration of peace in the country in regards to economic and political problems. However, human rights education has been minimal, which threatens all the current progress (Farah, 2016). 

The victims of the war have undergone grave suffering, owing to the destruction of property, livelihood, and families. The activities of the Al-Shabaab militants have been the cause of the pain. The need to educate the individuals is high due to the lack of information in regards to their human rights, and the obligation of the government in the betterment of their living standards.  Through the creation of systems to help better the lives of the afflicted communities, CARE has managed to serve many victims, instilling peace and harmony. However, the prevalence of fear and lack of human rights knowledge makes the victims vulnerable to the possibility of future victimization. It is for this reason that the challenge must be solved sustainably, bringing to an end the menace of war (Aras & Akpinar, 2015). Through education, the afflicted Somalis will be in a position to fight for their rights as well as demanding for better livelihoods through infrastructural development. Such amendments will guarantee practical problem solving, through the replacement of previous approaches with long-term strategies that provide sustainable solutions to the afflicted people. 

The prevalent operation governments and community leadership lack a recognition of human rights with much of the focus aimed at instilling economic and political progress. Human right’s education plays a vital role in promoting democracy, which provides a definitive solution to the war. Most of the third world countries depict minimal concern for human rights education, which has resulted in the lack of empowerment of the poor, who have minimum political or economic power (Asad & Kay, 2014). There is a dire need to enact approaches geared towards arming the afflicted with human rights education as a form of empowerment. Financial empowerment is critical, and much of the ongoing peacekeeping and reconstruction efforts are aimed at this problem. It is crucial to recognize the need for human rights knowledge, raising living standards for the afflicted. 

Human rights knowledge will assist the afflicted Somalis in various forms, showing them their rights and the government’s obligation to the people. With this experience, the people will be in a position to demand their rights, which will better their lives and assure them of good leadership. The country has ongoing talks on the establishment of a national government that is put under tight scrutiny by the people and will be in a position to elevate their living standards and the overall image of Somalia (Gure, Dahir, Yusuf, & Foster, 2016). The prevalence of disregard for the poor and their human rights may result in corrupt and unfruitful governance, as the people have minimal expectations. Educating them will empower them with knowledge on democracy, freedom, and their rights as well as efficient conflict resolution avenues and approaches (Powers, 2016). This action will result in overall national growth, placing the country in line with the philosophy of democracy, upholding the rights of all citizens, regardless of their financial or ethnic position.

Prevalent Issue

The adverse lack of human rights knowledge by the afflicted Somali people is a threat to the overall reconstruction process as it risks the rebirth of the rogue government (Farah, 2016). Armed with this knowledge, they will be in a position to stand for their rights and freedoms, thus curbing the existence of such governments. Knowledge is power. It will thus empower the afflicted Somalis, putting them in a position to fight for their rights (Szent-Iványi & Lightfoot, 2016). Lack of this knowledge has hindered progress in not only Somalia but also other third world countries, with the majority of the people having no say in their lives. Educating them on their rights, freedoms, and responsibilities will make them more knowledgeable in regards to government functions and other political information previously unheard of by the vast majority. 

Reconstruction must entail creating long-lasting and sustainable solutions, with the aim of entirely solving a problem and moving on to another. CARE has depicted immense success in a vast majority of peacekeeping programs. I credit this to the realization of unique situational aspects and working with the specific community in bettering living standards. This case for the afflicted Somalis depicts unique situational problems such as the level of terror to which the victims were subdued too as well as their experiences. Lack of exposure is also a limiting factor, with most of these people lacking knowledge on a better way of life, and experiencing peace. This situation heightens the need for restructuring CARE’s approach to the reconstruction process and devises a strategy that entails education on human rights, to empower the afflicted mentally (Buergenthal, Shelton, Stewart, & Vazquez, 2017). Giving the residents this knowledge will position them on a level higher, as they will understand the role of the government as well as its obligations, in regards to solving problems around them. 

As depicted in other post-conflict cases, knowledge and information play a vital role, as most of the afflicted individuals have limited exposure, lacking succinct comprehension of events revolving around their lives. News of national and global events help expose these individuals to the outside world, widening their grasp, in regards to problems facing their lives and families. Through educating them on democracy and its achievement, the organization will be defining the future of the country, which has been at war for the past two decades. Informing them of varied approaches towards conflict resolution and prevalence of peace will ensure that a war of such nature is not repeated, curbing the devastation of millions of lives. Sustainability is a paramount aspect in determining the effectiveness of an adopted strategy, precisely in post-conflict reconstruction (Friedman, 2013). It is for this reason that the adoption of this recommendation into the current plan in Somalia is vital, in its promise to provide a long-lasting solution in regards to peace restoration.   

Current Human Rights Situation

As elucidated, the current situation in Somalia is devastating, with most people suffering from the post-traumatic disorder. The afflicted people have been through distressing moments due to the prevalence of Al-Shabaab, a militant group that is credited for all the chaos in the country. Religious extremism is a significant threat to peace, with many individuals joining, owing to economic challenges that are a result of poor governance (Forsythe, 2017). Through educating the afflicted in masses, CARE will be eliminating the threat of relapse in regards to wars and human rights infringement. In the battle, mass murders are a common sight, with children under the ages of 5 years having eyewitness accounts of murder, rape, and other extreme human rights infringement (Invernizzi, 2016). The ruthlessness depicted by the militant group in its torture and execution of victims has led to the creation of a peculiar sort of fear, which is elucidated in all victims. The prevalence of concern in the country depicts the need for change enactment, in regards to the prevailing perceptions held by members of the country. The need for human rights knowledge among the afflicted people is paramount, as it solidifies the reconstruction process, ensuring that a repeat of events is not witnessed in the future.   

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Human Rights Violations

There have been vast incidences of human rights violations in Somalia, with no formal government in place. This situation infers that there is virtually no existent law due to the lack of a functional judicial and legal system in the country. People have been accustomed to merely surviving with any form of opposition or disapproval of the militants amounting to execution on the spot. Al-Shabaab has capitalized on the use of fear in controlling the people, which has led to the loss of recognition of human rights. Public executions are frequent in the country, with oppositionists receiving brutal killing, most common slaughtering (Wronka, 2016). Such events have been aimed at gaining power, with the notion that all people will join the movement and displace the government. 

The mass murder of thousands of innocent civilians and children has gravely impacted the nations, filling most individuals with anger and rage against the powerful terrorists. However, their dominance and non-negotiation judgments have prompted them to sit back and adapt to the harsh reality. However, there is hope now that international forces have joined to instill peace and order in the country, fighting the ruthless Al-Shabaab militants. An example is a case where 241 innocent civilians who had been held hostage were mass murdered, resulting in the escalation of fear among the Somali people (Farah, 2016). The group grew significantly in the country, with more people seeking to join to evade retribution and punishment. It led Al-Shabaab into becoming an international threat, with its activities spreading into neighboring countries. The disregard for human rights is a leading cause of the group’s power, which has significantly altered how most victims perceive the world around them. Most of the children that I have interacted with are wary of strangers, depicting minimal interaction. Sad faces are ubiquitous, as most of these victims have lost their loved ones to the war, with some losing hope in life. Suicide is also a common occurrence, with victims opting for death, owing to the pain they have been through (Wheeler, 2015). Human rights violations should be curbed, restoring peace and democracy through equal rights for all.

Gender rights have also been widely disregarded in the country, with primitive prejudice differentiating men from women. Rape incidences are at a high, with 30% of the female victims having been sexually tormented. The armed militants were accustomed to violating women during their raids, massacring them and their children. Men were slaughtered, with the lucky ones managing to escape. The horrors witnessed by the victims highly exceed minor rights violations, having the impact to damage an individual permanently. Most of the women and children are suffering from post-traumatic disorder and stress, which has the potential to impair their lives, and their perception towards life (Shaahinfar & Betancourt, 2014).  

Methodological Approach to Human Rights Education

Educating victims of war is a crucial source of empowerment in the reconstruction process, serving as a tool to protect them in the event of future challenges. Arming citizens with knowledge of their rights, freedoms, responsibilities, government roles, and obligations, among other aspects, play a crucial role in stabilizing a country, providing a long-term solution to the problem of war and terror. The terrified souls deserve to recognize their rights as human beings, most of which have already been infringed. For the successful execution of the strategy, I recommend a number of approaches aimed at garnering maximum target achievement. 

Access to Information 

During wars and the post-war period, access to information is minimal, with most afflicted individuals and families lacking knowledge of ongoing events as well as changes. These periods are often long, depriving citizens of their right to information, which is critical in guiding their day-to-day lives. In the case of Somalia, the lack of a functional government has limited the availability of services, creating an information gap. Most of the afflicted people that CARE has sought to assist in Somalia depict almost no knowledge of national matters, let alone global events and policies. Respect for human life is at a minimal, with death rates being among the highest in the world. Rape and other forms of human rights violations are common, creating a bad environment for innocent civilians (Symonides, 2017). Providing this information assists in bettering their understanding of human rights, recognizing cases of infringement and acting against them. 

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Establishing Study Centers 

Study centers will provide information for not only the victims but also a way out of the challenges facing them through garnered information. Study centers will provide information to the victims, enabling them to better their lives through the knowledge acquired. Through various literature, the victims can receive vital exposure, which informs them on how to live better amid the crisis. The existence of formal schools in Somalia is at a minimum, making study centers vital, precisely for children who have had exposure to formal schooling. Language and other barriers should be considered, ensuring that maximum productivity is achieved.

Cultural Integration

Value for culture is critical in ensuring successful implementation. The Somali culture should be integrated into the approach, to maximize its reception by the people. Through the inclusion of culturally significant norms, the overall process is eased, amounting to faster implementation. Religious acknowledgment will also ensure that the afflicted feel appreciated, garnering more efficiency and effectiveness in regards to human rights education. The education on rights and freedoms should focus on the specific group, applying relevant measures to ensure success. 

Cooperation with Existent Leadership 

The lack of an operational national government has led to communal governance, whereby individuals come together and select a leader, who is tasked with various roles. Cooperating with them will ease the process, as they possess adequate knowledge of the geography and culture, among other aspects of the specific location, strengthening the adopted approach. Religious leadership also plays a crucial role in the country, attempting to console the victims through spiritual fulfillment (An-Na’im, 2017). Cooperation will yield better results, easing the education process, which amounts to knowledge empowerment.   

In this case, justice for the offended may hardly be achieved, owing to the inexistence of a functional judiciary and government. However, through pursuing better lives with higher living standards, the war victims will be in a better place, with the potential to better and improve their lives. 

Partnering With International Organizations 

Bodies such as UN and UNHCR play a crucial role in the reconstruction process, making good strategic partners. Despite the variation in objectives, collaborating with these organizations will strengthen the overall operation, widening the scope of the project as well as resource capabilities. Building study centers and schools for the afflicted is a steep cost for the organization to bear in comparison to current approaches. However, collaborating with these bodies will create a larger pool of resources, which ease strategy implementation and achievement of milestones. The partnership will result in wins for all involved parties. Government support is also crucial, and thus CARE should collaborate with the US government (or any other) in an attempt to better the living standards, through empowerment. Such a government contribution would gravely better the strategy, thus positively impacting people in the millions (Betts & Orchard, 2014).   

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Impacts of Strategy Adoption

As elucidated, the devised strategy aims to provide education for war victims in regards to their human rights, freedoms, and responsibilities. Through applying the depicted methodologies, the plan is deemed to succeed, thus empowering the afflicted Somali people and providing hope for a better future. A significant strength of the strategy is in its ability to provide a permanent solution to the menace of war, which has hit the country for almost two decades. Through education of the afflicted individuals, CARE will empower them with skills vital to their lives and future, and this promises to alter the direction of the action, heading to a prosperous and peaceful future. 

Eradicating the prevailing views and ideologies is not an easy task, and the results may not be depicted immediately. However, the empowerment of these war victims will provide a long-life exposure to human rights, prompting them into fighting for change, and installation of democracy. Somalia is in a critical position, with the possibility of stability and creation of a government. This possibility can make or break the country, making education of the public essential. Knowledge of ‘a government for the people’ will significantly empower the nation, as the people will realize their rights and roles in their country. This action will lead to the creation of good governance, which will amount to growth and prosperity. However, these achievements may take decades to be reflected, but will obviously work for the betterment of the nation. 

Most of the victims have been chained to the horrors of the war, and the idea of peace has not been grasped in their minds. Most of them have lost their loved ones; others are disabled because of the violence, while others remain uncertain of the whereabouts of their friends and families. Education will play the critical role of depicting the position that the victims are in currently, and how best to move in regards to life betterment. Knowledge is an empowerment tool, through which the victims can better their war-devastated lives, teaching them about their human rights and freedoms. 

Nurturing children from an early age proves to be critical in determining their future as well as their country. The future of Somalia will be far impacted by the young in comparison to their parents. Assisting the children in regards to mental development will also better their future lives in regards to seeking and acting on opportunities (Biermann & Koops, 2017). It is for this reason that the strategy will have sustainable impacts in regards to reshaping the course of the country. Through education, people will be in a position to comprehend the world around them and react accordingly to fully capitalize the resultant opportunities in an attempt to better their lives.  

Education promises to arm the victims with vital skills, which will play a crucial role in bettering their standards of living. Economic sustainability is equally critical, and education on the role of government in providing for its citizens will enable people to seek their rights, resulting in an improved standard of living. The need for social amenities is prevalent, and this realization will create a societal push to improve their living standards (Donnelly, 2013). Through working together to satisfy their rights, the victims will not only improve their lives but also the state of the nation, creating a better country for future generations.       

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Possible Challenges

The implementation of the strategy will not be a walk in the park for the organization, despite its associated positive impacts. The education of people in the masses promises to present some logistical nightmares as well as economic challenges. The strategy entails construction of study centers and other infrastructure in large quantities, which presents challenges to CARE. The financial resources necessary for the overall implementation of the plan are numerous, and the organization will have to devise new sourcing approaches. The resources required for the project are multiple but will induce a positive change in the country. In addition, partnering with governments and other international organizations will lower operation costs, with a subsequent increasing coverage. The value of the project will thus be higher in comparison to actual organization cost (Biermann & Koops, 2017). Another possible challenge is the reemergence of war, which would deem all the efforts null and void. However, the situation is calm, and the international peacekeeping efforts have borne fruit with peace restoration. The threat has significantly lowered, and international forces are regaining control. 

Empowering people through the provision of knowledge on rights and government roles may result in conflicts with beneficiaries. This action presents the organization with a challenge due to the involvement in political issues. It is thus critical for the organization to seek collaboration and other strategies to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the strategy, in regards to goal achievement. Reviewing all methodological approaches is vital in ensuring the success of the operation. Failure to will result in conflicts and problems for the organization, which at all times should be best avoided. 

Lack of support from governments and other international bodies threatens the execution and success of the strategy, owing to the dire reliance on their resource capability as well as information. The need to collaborate with governments and international organizations for the joint execution of the education program is paramount and determines the success of this approach (Farah, 2016). Failure to reach agreeable terms or disinterest threatens the depicted solution, which would significantly inconvenience the war victims. It is thus crucial that CARE collaborates with strategic partner, who together will achieve a higher target, with the aim to better the state of the country and the standards of living. 

Solutions and Recommendations

In regards to the overall cost of the project, the organization will share the expenses with the partners, with each of them joining in executing the project together. Pooling together resources will significantly raise some funds, thus sufficing the needs of the project in regards to strategy adoption. Collaborating with governments and international organizations places the organization in a strategic position as sourcing of resources and logistical support is eased, resulting in increased efficiency. Through the collaboration, CARE will be in a place to achieve more value in regards to project role and effectiveness for a less and manageable cost. 

Conflict impedes growth and success, and should thus be avoided at all times. This strategic approach aims to ensure maximum benefit for the war victims, not only in the current situation but also in the future. The overall project effectiveness will be determined by its durability and sustainability as well as national advancement. For this reason, the organization should adopt a non-political approach, and only relying on capable political influencers (Farah, 2016). Political reforms aimed at bettering the lives of the victims should be strategically adopted to ensure sustainable peace installation. 

As elucidated, the success of this approach relies heavily on partnerships and collaboration, most preferably with governments and international bodies. Resources required for a project of this magnitude are numerous, creating the need for alternative approaches towards ensuring sustainable peacekeeping. Through these partnerships, CARE will be in a position to partly impact a national revolution, altering the future of a war-torn state. This situation will improve the living standards in the country, as a product of the education on human rights. The people’s approach towards conflict and peace will be informed and wise, owing to the exposure provided by the education garnered from study centers created by CARE in collaboration with other organizations. Approaching the appropriate and strategic partners is critical in determining the success of the operation. Good partnerships will enhance efficiency, and in the adoption and execution of the strategy, resulting in higher yields pertaining sustainable solutions to the prevalent menace. 

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Conclusion

As a summative, it is evident that education on human rights is a critical strategic approach, in the enactment of sustainable solutions to the prevalent menace. Educating the war victims on their rights, freedoms, and responsibilities will not only empower them individually but also as a country. The nation will be in a position to alter its future, focusing on the betterment of life through economic, political, and social development. CARE’s role in the process will be fundamental to the achievement of the objectives playing a vital role in the continuous effort to better life throughout the globe. Through collaboration and pooling together with governments, religious groups, and international organizations, among other stakeholders, CARE will enact a long-term peacekeeping solution, which has denied the country peace for decades. Achievement of set objectives will guarantee the improvement of the living standards of the war victims, furthering the humanitarian efforts of CARE, in the organization’s journey to combat menaces facing humanity. 

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