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30 June 2011
Edition No: 543

Support campaign to end the suffering of Gilad Shalit and his family
Source: Amnesty International

On 25 June 2011, 24-year-old Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will have spent five years in captivity in an unknown location somewhere in the Gaza Strip. For five years he has been denied any meaningful contact with the outside world; he is prevented even from exchanging letters with his family who continue to campaign on his case and live each day in the hope of receiving word from him as to his wellbeing and living conditions.
Sign the petition to Isma’il Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza to end the captivity.
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Don't miss the CIVICUS World Assembly: 10-12 September 2011, Montreal, Canada

Check out the CIVICUS World Assembly programme and don't miss out on this great event! The programme includes 3 plenaries and 40 work sessions divided among four key thematic tracks. Confirmed plenary speakers include: Jay Naidoo, Maina Kiai, Hamouda Soubhi, Mozn Hassan, Everjoice Win, Matt Dunne, Miguel Palacin Quispe, Kelly Rigg, Alancay Morales and Jamila Raqib. To give you enough time to explore this exciting programme, the early-bird registration period has been extended. Register before 30 June and get a 40% discount on your registration fee. Don't miss this chance to join the discussion as we come together to find innovative ways to strengthen civil society and act together for a more just world!
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10th International Congress on AIDS, 26-30 August 2011, Busan

ICAAP is the second largest HIV/AIDS forum in the world and is a biennial gathering for the release and discussion of scientific, programmatic and policy developments in the global response to the issues of HIV/AIDS. ICAAP promotes opportunities for greater regional collaboration, sharing of ideas amongst people infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemics from across the Asia and Pacific region and provides regional and national organisations, governments and individual stakeholders with space to enhance their mutual contributions in the response to HIV/AIDS.
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64th Annual DPI-NGO Conference: Sustainable Societies; Responsible Citizens, Bonn, Germany, 3-5 September 2011

The 64th Annual DPI/NGO Conference aims to highlight effective ways in which citizens and civil society, in partnership with other stakeholders, can contribute to creating and maintaining sustainable societies – economical, cultural and environmental. The 2011 edition, held in Bonn, Germany, could be considered as a major civil society contribution to the Rio+20 Conference taking place next year, and will provide valuable network-building opportunities for all participants.
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International Social Science Journal: Grassroots Approaches to Poverty Reduction
Source: UNESCO

While poverty is a key social and political issue that continues to elicit scholarly interest, legal and juridical perspectives on poverty and the poor are all too often elided in critical discourse. This narrative therefore attempts to fill this lacuna by offering a series of inter-disciplinary perspectives on poverty as an ethical issue which is intrinsically embedded in questions of the law, the social contract, international governance and human rights.

The articles collected here all move from the “ground up” and synthesise ethnographic research with policy analyses against the larger backdrop of economic globalisation. Thinking about poverty as a human rights issue can potentially inaugurate the way for new forms of social transformation and local empowerment. More importantly, understanding poverty as a human rights violation can also lead to transformations on the level of local and international policy which can potentially create the grounds to eliminate the proliferation of poverty traps across the globe.
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Follow @civicusalliance on twitter and get the latest civil society updates.

International Director - Organisational Effectiveness (application deadline 5 July, 2011)
Source: ActionAid International

ActionAid International (AAI) is a global federation working to end poverty and injustice with thousands of communities and millions of people across the planet. AAI seeks to appoint an International Director - Organisational Effectiveness (AA-DOE), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, to enhance organisational performance through a focus on measuring impact.
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Director of Civil Society Strengthening (application deadline 22 July, 2011)
Source: Counterpart International

Counterpart International is seeking a Director of Civil Society Strengthening for the three-year USAID funded Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS II). With direction from the Chief of Party and designated Counterpart HQ staff, the Director of Civil Society Strengthening will be responsible for programmatic oversight of all organisational development (OD), training and capacity building activities.
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Rule of Law Specialists (application deadline 30 July, 2011)
Source: The QED Group, LLC

The QED Group seeks Rule of Law Specialists for anticipated projects based in Eastern Europe, former Soviet Republic countries, Central Asia, East Asia, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Candidates should possess experience in the following sectors/areas of experience: promoting alternative dispute resolution, transparent governance, judicial reform and legislative strengthening.
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Project Managers (application deadline 20 July, 2011)
Source:  Global Integrity, Washington, DC

Global Integrity is one of the world's leading independent information providers on governance and corruption trends globally. Alongside other managers and directors, this position will help to research and design new fieldwork methodologies and indicators; recruit and manage field teams of journalists and researchers to execute current and future fieldwork projects; perform analysis and quality control over the resultant data and reporting; and design and lead outreach and dissemination activities, including public workshops and capacity building activities. 
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The surge of people power across the Middle East and North Africa that many have referred to as the Arab Spring has evoked a great deal of interest around the world. Responses have ranged from curiosity, solidarity and absolute awe to active intervention – military, financial and policy. As this issue of e-CIVICUS goes out, renewed protests in Cairo are being met with violent responses while conflict rages on in Libya and Syria and activists around the region face reprisals and resistance from entrenched autocrats. Ripple effects are being felt well beyond the region. For civil society groups around the world the uprisings inspired a resurgence in belief in citizen action while governments, in the developed world in particular, and the major international financial institutions have scrambled to influence outcomes. Lost in the clamour is the critical question of the economic paradigm that informs the varied interventions. This piece by CIVICUS member, ANND, addresses this gap and is, I believe, a must read for civil society organisations, even those with no direct engagement in the region.

In solidarity,

Ingrid Srinath

Unexpected Revolutions?

Ziad Abdel Samad, Executive Director of the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Beirut.

The pace and rapidity of the change that the Arab region has witnessed since the beginning of 2011, with regard to the level of mobilisation of people from various social groups and its spread across the region, and the relatively short period it took to topple presidents and power figures that were characterised as untouchables for a long time, have brought a significant level of surprise to various stakeholders. These include the people in power themselves, the international community and the allies of the Arab countries, as well as the people participating in the mobilisations, whether organised in various forms of civil society groups or not. That said, it has been evident that the Arab region has been rapidly climaxing towards a certain kind of change.

Indeed, the witnessed revolutions reflected the arrival of the region at a climax of a period that compounded political repression and lack of democracy with economic and social marginalisation, high inequalities and the violation of rights. This was associated with high levels of corruption and centralisation of economic resources under the control of the few that were either part of the ruling family, party, or close to those circles.

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Last day to get 40% off your registration for the CIVICUS World Assembly

Don't miss this chance to join the discussion as we come together to find innovative ways to strengthen civil society and act together for a more just world at the 2011 CIVICUS World Assembly. Find the programme online and register today at www.civicusassembly.org.

Ongoing threats to human rights defenders in Venezuela

Dr. Humberto Prado Sifontes, human rights activist and Director of the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory, has been falsely accused of instigating violence in prisons following the outbreak of revolts at a local prison. CIVICUS is deeply concerned that the human rights activist may face persecution following comments from the state minister and other media outlets in the country.
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CIVICUS calls for proposals for implementation of CiviCRM

CIVICUS is seeking proposals from consultants who have demonstrable capacities implementing constituent relationship management (CRM) solutions to implement CIVICUS' CRM strategy.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index for Macedonia: Civic engagement - long road to go (Policy action brief)

The key policy recommendations presented in this Policy Action Brief address the sustainability of civil society, highlighting the need to improve civic and social dialogue between civil society organisations (CSOs) and decision-makers.

CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI) - New country report

The Guinea country report is now available. This analytical country report provides in-depth coverage of the status of Guinea’s civil society revealing a civil society weakened by low level citizen engagement.

New CIVICUS World Assembly blog post

Uh oh! Development ineffectiveness: idealism and interests

‘People don’t want to hear that aid is not working, and the “aid industry” they refer to is fueling itself. I can easily dispute this by citing a number of examples of “good” development. But then again, the most brand new SUVs I have ever seen roaming around at once was in Banda Aceh after the tsunami. All the vehicles were from INGOs. For some, development is a self-serving business.’

Read this post and others from leading commentators around the globe on key civil society issues in the World Assembly Blog.

Follow threats and take action to protect civil society - join Civil Society Watch at www.cswatch.org

Kazakhstan: Workers fight massive crackdown

Source: IPS

Workers striking in what has been described as the biggest organised threat to Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime in the last decade are being beaten by hired thugs as the government ignores pleas for basic international labour rights to be observed.
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Turkey: LGBT rights movement gaining strength
Source: Eurasia.net

With an annual gay pride march planned for this weekend and a vibrant gay nightlife, Istanbul in many ways is an oasis for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in the Muslim world.
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How the internet is building civil society in Russia
Source: The American

In the past decade, Russia has experienced explosive growth in the spread of the Internet and its applications. As in other authoritarian regimes, where the national media are state controlled, censored, or self-censored, the Russian "net" has become "a shelter in the world of censorship.
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Present at the birth of Libya's civil society
Source: CBS News

On my first day in Benghazi it became clear that for activists here there were two solid knowns that trumped all the unknowns. First, Qaddafi's days were numbered. Graffiti on concrete walls sprayed in red paint read "game over." People repeatedly explained to me that there was no half revolution, and the only successful ending was one without Qaddafi or his loyalists. This was about life and death, they emphasised. If Qaddafi were to stay, then Benghazi would share the same fate as Al Zawiyah. Second, the key for Libyan success was the development of a third sector - civil society.
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OSCE Resolution Calls for More Civil Society Access
Source: Hetq Online

A resolution before the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Human Rights Committee would call for regular meetings between civil society representatives and ambassadors to the Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. “For decades the OSCE has been a primary advocate for fundamental rights in Europe, but all this time our primary decision-making body has not allowed civil society to participate or even observe its proceedings. This resolution aims to change that,” said Matteo Mecacci (Italy), the author of the resolution and rapporteur of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions.
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How can philanthropists and social investors most effectively support development?
Source: Alliance Magazine

Taking one area and issue as a case study, Alliance editor Caroline Hartnell and guest editor Simon Desjardins of the Shell Foundation went to the Indian state of Bihar to visit the social entrepreneurs who are striving to bring electricity and light to remote villages, and to see how their efforts are changing the lives of local people.
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Native community defends land against loggers and organised crime
Source: IPS

"Our patience has run out," says Mary, an indigenous woman with three children to care for on her own since her husband was kidnapped from his home by an armed group. In this town in western Mexico, local residents have begun to defend themselves with sticks and stones against illegal loggers and the organised crime groups that are their allies. "It's very sad, because my husband was a really fine, upright person. He was a member of the communal lands committee, and when the problems with the 'talamontes' (gangs of illegal loggers) began, he informed the authorities, but no one paid any attention, and now they've taken him away," Mary told IPS about her husband's 10 February kidnapping.
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Drilling Deep Mistakes in the Arctic
*Kumi Naidoo, writing from The Institution Prison, Nuuk, Greenland

Nuuk is a long way from my hometown of Durban, and the Arctic is a long way for an African to come to campaign about climate change. Yet, here I sit, in a jail cell, with my colleague Ulvar Arnkvaern, in the ‘Institution’, a prison in Greenland’s capital. I sit here for breaching an exclusion zone and climbing aboard a dangerous deep water drilling rig some 120 km off Greenland’s coast.
With me I carried the signatures of some 50,000 people who are demanding that the oil rig’s operators, Cairn Energy, publish its ‘oil spill response plan’. I also wanted to personally call for drilling to stop immediately. Since my arrest I am told that over 20,000 more people have gone to the Greenpeace web site - www.greenpeace.org - and added their names to the growing petition.
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 *Kumi Naidoo is Executive Director of Greenpeace International

Social investments deserve priority in economic recovery schemes: Report

Source: Development of Economic of Social Affairs

A new United Nations report finds that many governments did not pay enough attention to the social implications of the recent global financial crisis and urges that social investments be given priority in recovery programmes.

Afghanistan: Over 250,000 Afghans displaced in two years: Report
Source: Refugee International

More than 250,000 people have been displaced in the last two years of fighting in Afghanistan, and "local police" programmes sponsored by NATO have exacerbated the problem by arming militias, according to a new report from Refugees International.

GIVING: Thematic Issue on Social Justice/Social Change Philanthropy - Call for Papers

Source: Giving Journal

GIVING, International Journal on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, is calling for papers for its upcoming thematic issue on Social Justice / Social Change Philanthropy. The Journal, published  twice a year in English and Italian, is an interdisciplinary forum focused on the production of research and studies on philanthropy as an engine of social innovation, addressing, among others, topics related to social equity, social justice and social investment. The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2011
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Human Rights Education Praxis: Call for essays
Source: Peace Review

Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice (Routledge) is dedicating issue 24.1, "Human Rights Education Praxis," to exploring the role of Human Rights Education (HRE) in promoting both a more mainstream understanding of human rights as put forth by the UDHR and international instruments, and new emerging meanings of human rights specific to the unique conditions of communities around the world, in efforts towards justice and equity.
Interested writers should submit essays (2,500 - 3,500 words) and 2-3 line bios to Peace Review no later than 15 October 2011.
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Jessica Hume
Ingrid Srinath
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