Many of today’s conflicts are the result of failed states and repressive or dysfunctional regimes. In the wake of conflict and disaster, establishing good governance, a functioning civil society and the rule of law can provide a peaceful means through which disputes can be resolved and development flourish.
The Governance and Rights Unit provides support to the International Rescue Committee's programmes in protection, rule of law, civil society development and community driven reconstruction. Implemented in emergencies, protracted emergencies and post-emergency reconstruction, these programmes focus on:
- Empowering people affected by conflict to solve their own problems.
- Ensuring that the needs of all groups, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, are taken into account within local decision-making processes, and that people understand and trust the processes by which decisions are made.
- Working to ensure that people in positions of power at community and government levels recognise that all members of society have equal rights that must be respected and realised.
The IRC works to safeguard the human rights and well-being of people affected by conflict – whether they are refugees fleeing across international borders, internally displaced within their own country, or returning home after conflict.
Rule of law
The IRC works to improve safety, security, access to justice and rule of law in the communities where we work. We do this by supporting national institutions and laws that meet international standards, and working to improve complementary customary processes.
Civil society development
The IRC helps strengthen civil society and ensure that communities have access to basic services by building the capacity of institutions that are responding to communities’ needs, and reinforcing the role of civil society in rebuilding a functioning society.
Community driven reconstruction
The IRC ensures that people affected by conflict are involved in rebuilding their communities, rather than being passive recipients of aid. We give democratically elected committees financial resources and support so that they can implement development projects selected by the communities they represent. In this way, the priority needs of the community are met; communities are provided with the skills to bring about change and address local issues; and working together on decision-making and implementing projects helps rebuild social relationships damaged by war.