The Commission has a responsibility to promote respect for human rights and develop a culture of human rights in the republic; and to formulate, implement and oversee programs intended to raise public awareness of the rights and obligations of a citizen under the Constitution.
Human rights education plays a critical role in the protection and promotion of human rights. The best guarantee that rights will be respected is the development of an attitude of respect for the rights of others by communities. A comprehensive education in human rights not only provides knowledge about human rights and their legal framework but also helps to foster the attitudes and behaviours needed to promote, defend and apply human rights in daily life.
It is in recognition of the central role human rights education plays that WERO regularly holds trainings and public awareness forums. These trainings and forums mainly target a variety of state actors (including and especially law enforcement officers), members of the civil society, prisoners and members of the public. Apart from conducting trainings and holding public forums, WERO also participates in talk shows in local community radio stations
In all its human rights education initiatives, WERO is guided by the following three broad objectives:
- To empower and win over: Here, focus is mainly on law enforcement personnel whose essential role in the protection of human rights cannot be doubted, Although it is their duty to protect human rights, law enforcement officials are sometimes the violators. WERO therefore engages regularly with law enforcement officers in capacity building programs to empower them with knowledge and to make them appreciate the centrality of human rights in the work of law enforcement officials.
- To empower and enhance access to justice: WERO recognizes that for persons who find themselves in conflict with the law, legal representation is critical. However, in most cases, accused persons self-represent. As a result, they may not be in a position to detect and complain about violations of their rights to fair trial which is guaranteed in Article 50 of the Constitution and which cannot be limited under any circumstances. With its training programs targeting prisoners, WERO enlightens inmates on the criminal trial process and the content of the right to fair trial in order to enhance their ability to competently represent themselves.
- To empower and enhance human rights advocacy: Partnership with other human rights actors is a sure way of enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights. However, partnerships are only useful if parties all have the capacity to engage constructively with human rights issues. WERO regularly engages other human rights actors in the Western Region in trainings aimed at building the capacity of the actors to effectively engage in human rights work. Key areas of training include monitoring, investigating, documenting and reporting human rights violations.