Strengthening Human Rights in the Central African Republic

Home / Strengthening Human Rights in the Central African Republic
June 11, 2024

Ten years after the beginning of the civil war in the Central African Republic (CAR), the country continues to contend with significant security challenges, violent conflicts and political instability. Armed groups are exhibiting a concerning resurgence, gradually gaining control over expanding areas of the country and there is a weakened and highly centralized government model. The resurgence of fighting across the country has led to human rights violations and atrocities, reaching proportions not seen since the height of the crisis in 2013. Of those surveyed, 74% affirmed that human rights violations are properly dealt with by the authorities, but with a variation of ‘yes, always’ 18.79%, ‘yes most of the time’ 19.94% and the largest group answering, ‘yes rarely’ 47.92%.’

Tensions between communities and violent outbreaks are further fueled by the divisive rhetoric, mis- and disinformation in Central African media evidenced by only 52% of respondents who said ‘yes definitely’ the news produced by their local radio stations is accurate, gender- and conflict-sensitive, and promotes peace. Regarding ‘Access to information to engage in social and political processes,’ the data reveals that only 17.5% of people report having frequent access to information while the majority report ‘sometimes’ (46.48%) and ‘little to no access’ (29.42%). Although the majority of respondents have some access to the information they need to engage in social and political processes, there are significant variations between groups, with a tendency towards more limited access for women. Women, youth, and marginalized groups are particularly vulnerable to both human rights violations—including sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) —as well as the effects of violent conflict.

Against this backdrop, and leveraging their decade-long presence and unique capacity in CAR, Search for Common Ground, with partners Internews and the American Bar Association, generously funded by USAID, over a period of five years, will focus on empowering Central African citizens to (i) prevent and respond to human rights violations; (ii) strengthen democratic institutions with the potential to advance human rights over the long term; (iii) counter conflict-provoking misinformation and rumors with accurate and professional journalism; and (iv) rapidly adapt to changing threats to human rights, including from armed groups and foreign actors across 12 different locations. The project activities will attempt to achieve these objectives through capacity building for national-level government and legal institutions, while contributing to efforts to increase 1 As found in the baseline study conducted by the Search team accountability and coordination to respond to and prevent human rights and atrocity violations.

In order to counter mis/disinformation with professional journalism and creative content that encourages civic belonging, the project will support a fact-checking and hate speech monitoring campaign that will identify and document fake news, rumors, and hate speech as well as develop strategies for response. This will be paired with media literacy programs, and tailored training for media houses on information verification and reporting on hate speech. Furthermore, community-level conflict transformation will be strengthened through forums and dialogue, opening up a space to report on human rights violations and seek solutions as a community.

The program will be based on research and assessments to ensure activities and initiatives are contextually informed, relevant, and responsive to participants’ needs as defined by them with a robust process of reflection, adaptation, and continuous learning. It will achieve sustainability through local ownership, capacity building, collaboration and an intentional exit strategy determined from the start, while ensuring meaningful participation from women, youth, indigenous groups and other marginalized communities. Follow our Central African Republic social media pages for ongoing updates of the project set to conclude in 2028.


USAID, American Bar Association, Internews

Sign up to stay informed about Search for Common Ground’s work around the world and how you can get involved.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.