Karapatan sa Malikhaing Paraan (KaSaMa)
The Search for Innovative Philippine Human Rights Initiatives
The Philippines government is a signatory to several international human rights treaties, which obligates it to respect, protect and promote the dignity of individuals. However, human rights violations are an on-going concern for the country as displayed by cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations. Since human rights violations are not only an affront to citizens of countries but to humanity as a whole, the international community has responded to domestic human rights issues by providing support through funding local human rights civil society groups.
However, previous funding support has been limited to the conventional modes of interventions such as trainings, education sessions, and similar activities. With increasing difficulties faced by human rights victims and advocates alike, new, innovative and more responsive human rights initiatives should be implemented. Hence, in 2009, international development agencies, embassies and funding institutions met to support a mechanism to generate funds and encourage innovation, risk-taking, and determination in addressing perennial human rights issues. Thus, Karapatan sa Malikhaing Paraan or KaSaMa was organized and formally launched in October 13, 2009 at the University of the Philippines and was attended and supported by former Philippine Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila M. de Lima.
KaSaMa is a funding initiative by international partners to support innovative human rights projects. It invites human rights advocates nationwide to craft and submit innovative proposals, which would respond to a wide range of human rights issues and themes such as civil, politicial, economic, social, and cultural rights.
KaSaMa was initiated in 2009 by several international partners, who came together and supported the first round.
More than 400 proposals have been submitted during the first two rounds of KaSaMa (in 2009 and 2011), from which the international partners supported almost 30 projects with total grants amounting to almost Php30 million. Projects supported were chosen for their innovation/creativity, potential impact/added value, organizational capacity, and cost effectiveness.
KaSaMa not only provides innovative human rights projects the opportunity to address various human rights issues but also paved the way for an effective way to link various sources of support for human rights initiatives. KaSaMa, per se, is already a success story. It represents a multilateral convergence of efforts from different donor agencies to address human rights issues of the country.
KaSaMa 3 Partners
For KaSaMa 3 is seeing more international partners entering the Consortium: Australian Embassy, British Embassy, Embassy of Canada, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, New Zealand Embassy, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Spanish Embassy, and the United States Embassy.
A Consortium Secretariat composed of the Caucus of Developmental NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), Ateneo School of Government-Government Watch (ASoG G-Watch) and the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) is tasked to implement the activities of KaSaMa, with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as the government partner.