Louchrisha Hussain

Role: Programme Manager/Acting Director
Organisation:
Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF)
Active in Country: Fiji
DTP Program: 28th Annual Human Rights and People’s Diplomacy Training, Timor-Leste 2018

The training contributed immensely to my understanding of how to effectively engage in and with the UN system, processes and mechanisms. My attendance to the 28th Annual Human Rights and People’s Diplomacy Training in Timor-Leste in October 2018 was beneficial as it prepared me to engage at the 40th Human Rights Council session in March this year. I was able to connect knowledge to processes as I observed sessions at the Human Rights Council sessions.

Louchrisha Hussain is currently a Programme Manager and Acting Director with CCF where she is involved in managing CCF’s programs to eliminate discrimination, address human right violations and promote the rights of marginalized groups in society such as LGBTIQ.

Louchrisha’s roles include engaging with Fiji’s other human rights organisations, managing CCF’s projects, ensuring all activities are implemented and are steadily progressing towards the desired outcomes. CCF is also the Secretariat for Fijian CSOs engaging in reporting to human rights treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review. CCF engages a wide variety of groups to address the human rights issues they face. Louchrisha found the DTP training invaluable for her work:

The DTP training has contributed to my overall understanding of platforms and processes I (and my organisation) can access or engage in to magnify human rights issues and violations we work daily to address. It has definitely opened up a whole new advocacy platform providing us with more opportunities to raise voices of those that cannot do it for themselves...

The human rights situation in Fiji still needs improving, and recommendations received in Fiji’s last Universal Periodic Review cycle need to be realized and swiftly
implemented by the State. The existence of legislative framework that impose directly on freedoms such as freedom of assembly and freedom of association, need to be reviewed. There have also been reported cases of police brutality that have resulted in death, etc. I cannot say that the training has direct influence on the decrease /increase of human rights violations; however the training has helped me (and also the organisation) advocate and amplify these cases so that immediate attention and due process is given to survivors of human rights abuses.

Louchrisha is currently working in the Serua and Namosi Provinces of Fiji. Some of the main human rights issues for communities in these provinces are access to clean drinking water, access to health care services, access to justice, and better infrastructure. CCF works with local communities to prioritise their needs and ensure they are reflected in village development plans and policy submissions that are put forward to government ministries.

Our rural communities do not have the luxury of access to information like we do in the urban centres; as it is evident through our engagements that many communities are not aware or understand legislation that directly affect them, let alone their basic human rights reflected in our comprehensive Bill of Rights in the 2013 Constitution of the Republic of Fiji. We are able to measure success of our advocacy through the submissions and meaningful engagements that our local communities are involved in, with local government and policy makers. We are also able to gauge that people are more confident in exercising their rights by engaging in democratic processes – such as the most recent 2018 Fiji General Elections; understanding the importance of exercising their right to vote.

Earlier this year, Louchrisha was one of three DTP alumni from CCF to attend the March session of the Human Rights Council. While in Geneva, she was able to catch up with other DTP alumni and trainers. One of the strengths of the DTP program is the network that is created, building on the work started during the programs, and providing support and solidarity for members around the world.

The network established at DTP is a very supportive one that provides a regional and international solidarity network. This helps to amplify issues at many other platforms around the world. For e.g. there have been a few letters and statements issued on various human rights violations around the world by some of my DTP colleagues, and we have activists and organisations in the wider network willing to support and show solidarity. It’s encouraging to see a network of activists all around the world supporting each other in the important work that we all do.

 

Profile written April 2019.