Over the past several years, a serious human rights crisis has
developed in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe
employs repressive measures to cling to power. Civil society and
human rights groups in Zimbabwe are among those who have
come under attack by the government, and they face an
extremely difficult challenge in bringing about positive change
in the country. This article describes the development of the
current crisis in Zimbabwe, focusing on the problems faced by
local activists and organizations that seek to promote greater
respect for human rights. It further discusses one recent
initiative launched by the U.S.-based organization Human
Rights First, which organized a consultative meeting of regional
civil society groups in August 2003. The article addresses the
role that can and should be played by international civil society
organizations, which must be sensitive to the contextual
dynamics particular to the Zimbabwean crisis and to the region.
If they are to be in any way effective, such organizations must
act in support of local actors and stronger regional networks.
Davidson, Lorna and Purohit, Raj
"The Zimbabwean Human Rights Crisis: A Collaborative Approach to International Advocacy,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol7/iss1/4