Protection of local communities and the prevention of violence in the Philippines, Liberia and South Africa

The programme supports national civil society organisations in the development and sharing of knowledge on interventions, which protects local communities against violent exercise of power, and prevents torture in its various forms. The build-up of South-South collaboration is an independent goal in and of itself.

Project description

The overall purpose of the programme is local and global. Locally, the three project countries work to develop strength and monitor community-work that can mobilize and strengthen individuals and groups already at risk of victims of violent power. The purpose of local interventions is to ensure that these individuals can participate on an equal footing with others in their communities.

Globally, the project is building an alliance between urban communities and organizations working with this focus. The purpose is to develop common analyzes, policies and methods that can strengthen a civil society-based approach to the prevention of violence and urban torture in the Global South.

The primary purpose of the project is to create new knowledge and carry out advocacy work in the project countries and to use the knowledge in advocacy in global and regional human rights institutions.

Project background

The project is based on previous experiences in South Africa and the Philippines as well as research conducted in poor urban areas focusing on the occurrence and frequency of torture. Conclusions from this work illustrate that much of the violent power in poor urban communities is often aimed at particular risk-groups such as young men and women, the old, the sick and the infectious and the sexual minorities.

Because violent power is directed against marginalized groups, violence is often invisible, victims do not report it, and it is rarely registered by human rights organizations. The project therefore works to combat the social isolation and invisibility that these groups experience within their urban communities and try to build bridges between these groups and their communities.


The work is based on a social-professional approach and therefore includes a number of working methods, including: School- and continued education courses, wider psycho-social approaches (street theater and reflection groups), legal advocacy to authorities, and the strengthening of the income opportunities for individual groups.


DIGNITY Publication Series on Torture and Organised Violence | No. 18
Legal Study on Policing and Human Rights Standards - Internationally and in three countries of the global south (South Africa, Philippines and Liberia) | Download publication

DIGNITY Publication Series No. 17 on Torture and Organised Violence | No. 17
Anti-Torture Advocacy in the Philippines: Building partnerships and alliances through transformative engagement | Download publication

DIGNITY Publication Series on Torture and Organised Violence | No. 15
Psychosocial Models for Prevention and Wellbeing: Addressing Authority-Based Violence in Urban Neighbourhoods | Download publication

DIGNITY Publication Series on Torture and Organised Violence | No. 14
Social work models in addressing state and authority-based violence in Denmark and the Philippines | Download publication

Torture and Ill-Treatment Under Perceived: Human Rights Documentation and the Poor, Steffen Jensen, Tobias Kelly, Morten Koch Andersen, Catrine Christiansen, and Jeevan Raj Sharma | Link to article

Missing torture amongst the poor, Steffen Jensen and Tobias Kelly | 7 November 2016 | Link to article


If you have questions regarding this project you are welcome to contact:
Project Manager, Mette Møhl:


Philippines, Liberia and South Africa


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