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Photo: Marie Cecile Embleton.Photo: Marie Cecile Embleton

Democracy and Human Rights

Last updated: 08.10.2014 // Information about Norwegian Development Cooperation in Malawi focusing on Democracy and Human Rights

2013: NOK 26 million ≈ USD 4.5 million (USD 1 ≈ NOK 6)

Free and fair elections are important for development. Norway supports the 2014 tripartite election through UNDP, Norwegian Church Aid and the Gender Coordination Network (50-50 campaign).  The international observer mission of the SADC-PF to Malawi’s elections were supported by the Embassy, as well as a new agreement promoting new councillors’ capacity. Norway is also supporting the Media Council of Malawi helping to ensure a free and independent press that is conscious of its role, and the Democracy Consolidation Programme (DCP) to facilitate the right to development. Women constitute an important target group of the programmes, leading to women increasingly taking on leadership roles.

For several years Norway has supported a programme providing civil rights training for poor people in rural areas. Several local communities have subsequently succeeded in demanding their rights to the development of infrastructure, and access to services in areas such as education, health, water supply and child labour. Inclusive governance processes are at the core of the support to the civil society governance fund, Tilitonse.

In the human rights area the Embassy supports programmes to prevent human trafficking, to improve conditions in prisons – in particular for women and youth, and to prevent violence against people accused of witchcraft. Working with the UN, the Embassy supports the rights of people with disabilities, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Norway supports NGOs to promote rights for, and prevent violence against lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual people (LGBT).

Results example: Malawi Human Rights Support Project

Since 2012 Norway together with UNDP have supported a Sector Working Group, consisting of Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Office of the Ombudsman, other human rights civil society organisations and the National Assembly. The funds have contributed to the group’s work towards the National Action Plan for Human Rights in Malawi.

Although the project is only two years old, there has been an increased interaction and coordination between the parties involved, and specific results from only 2014 include:

  • Increased role of election oversight provided by MHRC in the 2014 tripartite elections, ensuring transparency, objectivity, accountability and credibility;
  • Office of the Ombudsman conducted 500 on-the-spot investigations of administrative malpractices and 20 actual cases were identified as a result of the investigations; and
  • The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs experienced great progress on their Universal Periodic Review on human rights and has managed to collect data from all government ministries and districts.

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