Welcome to the Canadians for Human Rights in Congo (CHRC) website. CHRC was founded in 2009 to provide support to Héritiers de la Justice or Heirs of Justice (HJ), a human rights organization in Bukavu, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo). HJ’s Director General, Pascal Kabungulu, was assassinated in 2005 (see window below). His family had to flee and was resettled in Canada. Due to the continuing civil conflict in DRCongo, CHRC started to support HJ in their endeavour to assist sexually-violated women, through the creation of a legal clinic (see window below).
CHRC also believes: 1) that Canadians urgently need to become aware of the violence and war in the eastern Congo; 2) that in addition to HJ, other local DRCongo human rights organizations also require support; 3) that Canadian institutions and government need encouragement to address human rights issues and to better regulate the ethics of Canadian mining companies exploiting resources in DRCongo.
HJ had been receiving support for its main activities from several countries. Support from Canada comes through KAIROS (an ecumenical development organization) which previously obtained some financing from the Canadian International Development Agency. CHRC elected to support the creation of a women’s legal clinic which accompanies victims of sexual violence though treatment, counseling, legal proceedings, restoration to their home communities, as well as training victims to become para-legals to help themselves as well as other women survivors of sexual violence. To this effect, CHRC organized two fundraising activities between 2009 and 2011. The funds raised through these events were transmitted through KAIROS, HJ’s long-time partner.
“Pascal Kabungulu was a highly regarded and courageous defender of human rights who gave hope to ordinary people afflicted by war and misery,” said three international human rights organizations, in a joint statement August 1, 2005. “Killing a human rights defender means spreading fear across whole communities in Congo.”
In a place where government has ignored its responsibility to provide an impartial justice system, Heritiers de la Justice organizes community members to ensure their own Human Rights.
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