New member introductions (8 to 21 February, 2018)

Hi Laila! It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for the reply! It’s interesting to learn about your media literacy work in Myanmar. As you no doubt are already aware, Namati has a very active program in Myanmar though because of the language barrier (our forum does not yet support Burmese language) we do not have many discussions here on our forum with and about legal empowerment practitioners in Myanmar. Perhaps this is something you’d be interested in helping us with. Your ideas are most welcome!

We do have a facebook group for Namati Myanmar, in Burmese, which you may want to take a look at and join if you have not done so already.

cc: @namati_myanmar

My name is Mario Guilombo and I am the Founder and & Human Rights Program Director at the Canadian Human Rights International Organization. I wanted to give you a brief background on our organization and we look forward to continue working with you in the future and help more people in need with Global Legal Empowerment Network support and your guidance.


Founded in 2003, the Canadian Human Rights International Organization (CHRIO) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of the vibrant Jane and Finch community. We work in the field of human right issues and support hundreds of victims of armed conflict, refugees, displaced persons, and their relatives that were unable to leave their countries of origin. We function without a steady source of funding and rely on the generosity of donations and a very passionate and dedicated team of professional volunteers. We have continued to grow and now have close to 600 international missions.


The mission of CHRIO is to defend and fight for fundamental rights such as life, dignity, liberty, security and gender equality. Our organization helps fight against all forms of discrimination such as race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental disabilities in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set forth by the United Nations. CHRIO recognizes and upholds the human right laws enacted by the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations in Canada and abroad by:

  • Educating the public through the provision of courses, workshops, and seminars on matters relating to human rights.
  • Researching issues relating to human rights and the people we serve.
  • Assisting individuals in bringing their complaints before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and International Criminal Court and others International Tribunals and Human Rights Commissions.
  • Relieving poverty through the provision of basic amenities to refugees, immigrants and others in need.
  • To provide counselling, education, and other support services to immigrants and refugees, including language instruction, employment training, job search programs, translation services, and information/assistance on Canadian culture and life.


CHRIO seeks to materialize the truth, justice and complete reparation for serious violations of human rights, through legal and political actions at the international, national and local level in countries where human rights have been systematically violated. We work for the complete affirmation of the rights of people through the formation, organization, denouncing, and realization of legal and political actions at the local, national and international level in coordination with other organizations defending human rights.

Programs we offer and Populations we serve

We have helped and assisted over 16,000 families around the world free of charge. The clients we assist are from our local communities, citizens from across Canada and people from around the world who have little or no access to human rights resources or the funds to access these resources. We are the helping hand to those people that are dealing with human rights violations within and outside of Canada. Some of the programs we have organized and implemented are:

  • Human Rights Defence Program
  • Youth Human Rights Program
  • Mental Health Program with free counselling sessions for clients
  • Pardon & Waiver Program
  • Seniors Program
  • Student Placement Programs for University & College Students

Recent projects

Aside from the clients that we assist on a daily basis, we here at CHRIO lead long-term research projects that we develop into policy-prescriptions for world leaders to adopt in the field of human rights.

Our Regularization Proposal was recently submitted to all members of the Federal Parliament of Canada as well as the Ontario Provincial Parliament. In it, we advocated on behalf of the estimated 500,000 people in Canada who live without status. Their plight is related to the fact that they do not have access to the same social, medical, and labour rights as people having status, be they either Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, or others. Such a situation contravenes the commitments to non-discrimination that Canada has bounded itself by and so we pushed for the granting of status to individuals who have resided in Canada for five years, have demonstrated substantial community involvement, know either one of the official languages (French or English), and have no Criminal Record. CHRIO had the honour to present the project to the Honourable John McCallum, Federal Minister of Immigration, who demonstrated a favourable view of the facts and recommendations we presented in this regard.

As well, we have just finished writing a proposal entitled Addressing the Plight of Skilled Immigrants in which we identified the severe barriers that skilled immigrants face in Canada in finding employment suited to their skills. We argued that putting skilled immigrants in a situation where they are explicitly discriminated against by the regulations set up in the form of credential recognition and the implicit racist mentalities employers have of skilled immigrants is unacceptable in Canadian society. Among the solutions we provided, one was the financial support of the federal government for skilled immigrants when they first arrive to Canada so that they do not take on menial, low-skilled word that they eventually will become dependent on for survival. Indeed, Canada is not a country where immigrants should come to survive, but the thrive.

We hope that from the above mentioned examples of our projects, we have made our commitment to human rights clear. Many individuals can also attest to the positive impact that CHRIO has had in attaining their human rights and their subsequent stable and dignified lives.

I look forward to having you join the Canadian Human Rights International Organization and I look forward to hearing from you. They participated actively in the elaboration of projects submitted at all levels of government.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our organization and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

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Hello Mario! Thanks for your reply and for providing such a detailed introduction to yourself and to CHRIO. It’s great to have you in our community. Your programs as you describe them are very exciting and valuable - I was especially moved by this one which seems such an obviously good idea:

I will share your information with my Namati colleagues who will get in touch if they see opportunities for collaboration. Do please note that Namati is not a funding organization and we do not provide grants.

The Global Legal Empowerment Network has members in Canada, as well as members working throughout the world on similar issues as CHRIO. They will be glad to learn about your work and explore ways to work with you.

I hope you decide to spend time regularly here on the forum to connect with fellow members and to share opportunities. We’re a friendly bunch and share a common passion for justice and human rights. :sunflower:

I’m Mohamed Dek, Hanad is my well-known nickname ,30 years old man, born in Mugadisho 1988, just 2 year before somali civil war, my family has suffered SGBV, inhuman actions and killing from armed clan forces, I lost my oldest beloved sister that act in 1992, we fled to Ethiopia, started my education from Primary school to the University in Jigjiga and addis ababa respectively, Graduated school of law and politics, during my I was working to support somali Refugee women as Amharic translation to defend their right in between police and refugees and also in between Bole woreda Court and somali Community, then court offered me as Legal intern in 2010 till my Graduation in 2012. I came back to Somalia to work and support my displaced, returnee, vulnerable ones and those in need in legal and humanitarian worker, started to work with Norwegian Refugee Council in 2013 as protection project assistant, then after 6 months , Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA) Project assistant in 2014 and Project officer in 2015-2017.

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Hello Mohamed. Thank you so much for your reply. I am so filled with admiration and respect for you and the path you have taken through life so far, and the amazing work you describe to help Somali refugee women find access justice by providing Amharic translation. I am so impressed with you, and so glad to welcome you to our community. I hope you decide to visit the forum regularly (Fridays are a good day every week!) to read from others and share your wisdom and experience.

What is the latest you are working on and what are you looking for as a member of this network?

12 posts were split to a new topic: I would like to know if Namati has an office in Brazil

Thank you for accepting me to this wonderful community forum, i will commit myself to contribute what you will want me to do

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Hi Paul! Thanks for the reply. It’s great to have you and Conscience International in our community. I love the way you describe CISL’s work on your website, and so have added that information to the CISL organization profile in the member directory. Given your mission, CISL is a great candidate I think for core membership - please apply! If approved, you will get a :star: next to your name and streamlined access to network events and other opportunities.

CISL takes a human rights based approach to address development issues affecting West African countries, as well as the wider world. We believe that all individuals have the right to live with dignity through attainment of basic needs and encompass the ability to exercise political, cultural and social freedoms. We don’t provide aid; we create change at grassroots level, empowering communities to stand up for their rights.

This photo of a CI staff meeting is also a nice one to get to know you and your team. Which one are you? :slight_smile:

Thank you very much, will try to apply as a core member Paul


Great! Look forward to it. Let me know if you have any questions.

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6 posts were split to a new topic: Advice for members seeking human rights scholarships

Thank you very my friends, i am a new member from Sierra Leone, working on the right to nationality and eradication of statelessness, other interventions are advocating on natural resource governance and economic justice and training mining communities to understand existing mining laws, and recourse mechanism to be able to seek appropriate redress in and out of Sierra Leone.

We would like your help in sharing deeper experiences from other parts of the world on themes above, we need your guide and both technical and funding support. Thank you very much My regards Paul


Dear friend, I am engaged in religious reform. Like Martin Luther. The fact is that I criticize Christianity very much. And I think, and I try to show this to my interlocutors, that Christianity has a dogmatic problem of falling out of the legal field. Actually, why does Namati have so much work (such a large untapped field of activity)? And this is because there is a right vacuum in the world. At one time, the Creator of this world offered people legal norms to live, but people either modified these norms, and established their own justice, or abandoned these norms. Under far-fetched pretexts. I’m trying to appeal to the source of the law, for example, the Bible … And I try to explain my arguments by asking for a simple logical match. Well, for example, it says in the Bible (it was not I who invented it, but it is written in your book that you are trying to do) - do not kill. Then why do you think that Jesus needs to be killed? Who said that it is necessary to do so? After all, this contradicts a simple request, which is written in the Bible - do not kill … How can to be here? And, nevertheless, I think that my arguments will be heard, and people will give up their abuses. Then, they fall out of their “Christian justice” and will again be in a white sheet, they will have no laws, no right at all. I do not want to uphold the law (laws) of Muslims, and Jews are not allowed into the law of Jews, and therefore I must make efforts so that the people I have been agitating do not collapse moral foundations and they had the rights and laws to live. Not Christian, not in the field of Roman law. It is very unfortunate that so many people are in this legal sacred Roman Empire until now. I want this to be a kosher, right according to the standards of the Jews right. Now, this is the essence of my problem - to represent the interests of people in the court of the Seventh. Because I think that this is really a difficult situation, when you destroyed the norms of people’s lives. But I have to destroy them! Because they are wrong. And therefore, I need a strong legal support. To show that I’m not clueless.

I concentrated on Nigerians. I believe that these are people who are interested in a new legal status. I explain to these people that submission to the norms of Roman law means putting yourself in a powerless state that is not regulated in any way. Only by local laws, which often have very conjunctural interests. Well, what is the local Nigerian law, if there are three main ethnic groups in Nigeria, and any judge appointed by a certain group will act in the interests of their group …? It is clear that this will be speculation and corruption. Injustice, poverty and collapse. I explain all these things to these people. But, they can ask me - what do you offer in return? Are you a king or a judge? Who are you that we rely on your words and neglect the laws (albeit imperfect) of the state in which we were born …?

hi My name is Lian based in Manipur India, I am not a lawyer nor a student but I do believe that if laws are implemented as it’s on paper and have the knowledge to exercise our basic rights we can make our lives better. Therefore I joined these community to get support from people around the world so that I can learn from here and educate people around me and putting law into their hands. I’ve wrote an application to District Commissioner (DC) in Churachandpur District to implement Legal Empowerment in schools as extra curriculum. Today I received a meeting notice from Deputy Commissioner Churachandpur which will be held on 27.02.2018 to discuss the feasibility of implementing Legal empowerment. I need support from you guys and to make a table of contents for basic law. I’d appreciate any help I could get. Thanks


Hi Lian,

I suggest that you contact the Namati India team through @kanchikohli so you can discuss your ideas and seek any possible support.

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thank you @marlonmanuel for flagging this. @Thangvung, hope the meeting with the DC went well. It is exciting to note that you are interested in taking legal empowerment work to schools. Are there any particular themes you are interested in?

FYI @manjumenon


Good initiative. I think just introducing legal empowerment education at school as one of topics in schools curriculum will not be efficient. You have to form and train the school paralegal team (comprised of teachers and students) for tracking, reporting and follow-up of cases. You have to examine the availability of resources in order to determine your strategic approach. Because the approach differ from one community to the other. For example here in Uganda schools do not allow mobile phone use at schools that means it is difficult to use social media/app. Try to focus on why you want to do that and why you think your intervention will bring lasting benefit.

Generally the process will require arranging for equipment needs, setting up volunteers system and build relationship agreement with schools institutions, Districts, legal farm since you are not a lawyer, and so forth… P.S: You have to determine in advance which grade students will form the school paralegal team.


Hi Laila,

I read your post regarding the work you are doing in Myanmar - a media literacy curriculum for young people in Myanmar. It sounds fantastic! I am an international criminal law and international human rights legal scholar focusing on research of the Rohingya as a critical-case study. I have a background in adult literacy, but I am also interested in linking with you regarding a project I am working on for practitioners and advocates in the Southeast Asia region. I would love to chat with you about the opportunity to collaborate when time permits.


Sorry about I connect very late. I’m working at Land related Department, namely Dept. of Agricultural Land Management and Statistics (DALMS), under Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI), Myanmar. Best Regards, San Lwin Oo