Activists help Bissau-Guinean citizens know their rights

In celebration of World Day of Human Rights, December 10, in Guinea-Bissau different civil society organizations in partnership with the United Nations have carried out many activities for the promotion and defense of Human rights, such as lectures in schools and universities, and distribution of a practical human rights guide.

30 Dec 2016

Activists help Bissau-Guinean citizens know their rights

Despite the promotion efforts, the Guinean Human Rights League's (LGDH) diagnosis of the situation in its most recent report covering the period 2013-2015 is worrying: "citizens systematically view their rights violated, in particular the rights to Freedom of Expression and demonstration associated with the intimidation and beating of politicians, journalists, musicians and human rights activists, in a real restriction on fundamental freedoms.”

According to Augusto Mário da Silva, president of the LGDH, the human rights situation in the country "has suffered setbacks at all levels, resulting in the freezing of national public policies" as a result of political instability. According to Augusto Mário, this had an impact on both health and education.

In the opinion of experts and citizens, Guineans are also lacking in their rights. "The state itself does nothing to make people aware of the laws and of their rights because they know that if citizens are aware of their rights they will use those instruments to prevent them from doing what they are doing today. As for example, the situation that we are living, what was the reaction of the citizens? ", asked Gueri Gomes, president of the National Network of Youth Associations.

Gueri Gomes argues that "citizens do nothing in the face of the current crisis in the country because they lack information to reverse the situation and civil society organizations have an important role to play in this regard."

Janice Nunes, a lawyer and activist, has a similar opinion, "Bissau-Guinean citizens know very little about their rights and duties, proof of this is the current crisis that has been in the country for almost two years, when people do not know they have the right and duty to demonstrate and demand from politicians to give the people peace and tranquility. "

According to UNIOGBIS human rights official, Nivaldino Barros Lopes, the human rights situation in the country remains worrying "despite some improvements but human rights promotion and protection require a deep intervention of the state."

UNIOGBIS human rights section works, among others, to build the capacity of civil servants and NGOs that work in the area of ​​human rights and also monitor the human rights situation in the country.