Coronavirus

 

  • 'Can job security be guaranteed?' Interview with Lysa John

    Interview with Lysa John about why protecting workers during the COVID-19 crisis is crucial.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic advances around the world, the threat of unemployment creates the main point of stress and discomfort for tens of millions of people. Economic activity across the globe is plummeting - 80% of the global workforce have had their workplace fully or partially closed and the ILO (International Labour Organisation) is projecting that 25 million workers may lose their jobs. CIVICUS Secretary-General, Lysa John sheds more light.

    Join more than 200 organisations and adopt the Social Security Protocol

     

  • Anti-corruption and the role of civil society in monitoring IMF emergency funding

    99 civil society organizations have urged the IMF to consistently and formally include anti-corruption measures in its COVID-19 pandemic-related emergency funding and take concrete steps to help protect and empower civil society groups to monitor these funds.

    Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva International Monetary Fund
    700 19th Street NW Washington, DC 20431

    Re: Anti-corruption and the role of civil society in monitoring IMF emergency funding

    Dear IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva:

    We are 99 civil society organizations located around the world and we are writing to request that the International Monetary Fund consistently and formally include anti-corruption measures in its Covid-19 pandemic-related emergency funding and take concrete steps to help protect and empower civil society groups to monitor these funds.

    We are profoundly aware of the devastating scale of the global economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the urgency of providing governments the funds they need to effectively respond. As organizations that closely monitor corruption and its impacts, we also know that transparency and accountability are key to making sure the money the IMF is disbursing actually goes to protecting lives and livelihoods.

    Recognizing this, you urged governments during the Spring 2020 Meetings to “spend what you   can but make sure to keep the receipts. We don’t want transparency and accountability to take the back seat in this crisis.” However, most IMF loan agreements include few or no government commitments to mitigate the risk of corruption. Instead, the Fund appears to be taking a largely retroactive approach that relies on the good faith of governments and the close eye of independent monitoring groups.

    We appreciate that the urgent need for immediate funding and the nature of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) – the primary instruments for disbursing emergency funding – constrain the Fund’s ability to implement robust anti-corruption measures. However, some governments that have received funds through these mechanisms, such as Gabon,1 have committed to transparency and anti-corruption measures, including:

    • Receiving all emergency funds in a single account with the Treasury and creating a new budget line for coronavirus-related
    • Publishing a procurement plan that includes the names and beneficial ownership information of companies awarded
    • Agreeing to an independent audit within six months of receiving the

    The inclusion of these measures in some cases suggests that it is possible to do so without undue delay. The Fund should apply such measures consistently to all emergency funding.

    Moreover, as the Fund has acknowledged, even these measures would be insufficient to adequately ensure accountability because emergency funding is provided in lump-sum payments. In our communications with the Fund, both staff and board members have emphasized that they intend for civil society groups to play a vital role in filling that gap by closely monitoring government spending and communicating their concerns to the IMF.

    We are grateful that the Fund recognizes the crucial role civil society organizations play in holding their governments accountable, but this is a stopgap measure in the absence of more robust anti- corruption monitoring efforts by the IMF. It would also be imprudent for the Fund to rely on our oversight role without taking concrete steps to protect and strengthen our ability to effectively monitor these funds. Many of our groups work in countries where government spending is opaque, auditors do not exist or are not independent, and authorities do not tolerate criticism. Even where they can operate safely, many groups lack the technical capacity and resources to effectively monitor the billions of dollars in funding that the IMF is disbursing.

    To protect and strengthen civil society monitoring of emergency funding, we urge the Fund to take the following measures:

    1. Require transparency.Monitoring groups are neither law enforcement nor the government’s lender, both of which have authority to investigate and control the funds. The Fund should consistently apply transparency and anti-corruption measures to all loans, such as requiring governments to conduct independent audits and publishprocurement plans, including the names and beneficial owners of all companies awarded
    1. Protect groups’ ability to operate. Numerous countries have laws that limit freedom of association and expression in ways that undermine the ability of civil society groups to safely operate or effectively monitor IMF funds. For example, Sri Lanka has ordered police to arrest those who criticize government officials involved in the coronavirus response.2 In other cases, there is no law or formal order explicitly prohibiting criticism of government policies, but officials nevertheless retaliate against those who criticize them. TheFundshould require governments to commit to respecting the rights of civil society groupsand repeal or amend laws that prevent groups from safely monitoring government spending.
    1. Formally recognize the role of monitoring groups. Monitoring groups can provide the Fund with valuable information regarding government spending, but they need a safe and effective channel to do The IMF should formally recognize independent monitoring organizations as stakeholders in loan agreements and establish a channel for them toreport allegationsof wrongdoing. It should consider engaging select groups as independent monitoring organizations in contexts where corruption risks are especially high.
    1. Strengthengroups’capacities.The IMF’s unprecedented levels of spending, and the importance of the funding in light of the pandemic’s economic impact, has made monitoring government spending of IMF funds a new priority for many of our organizations. At the same time, the economic crisis means that many of our groups have even fewer resources than usual to The Fund should conduct virtual trainings to help build organizational capacity to monitor funds and consider providing willing groups with necessary resources, especially in countries where there are few well-resourced groups monitoring government spending.

    You opened this year’s Spring Meetings by noting that extraordinary times call for extraordinary action. The Fund should apply the same creativity and sense of urgency it has shown to support governments to help civil society groups ensure IMF funds go to the people who need it most.

    We would be happy to meet with you to discuss these issues in more detail and would appreciate learning what steps you have taken in this regard.

    Sincerely,

    4As/MWPC/UCSI
    Abibiman Foundation
    AbibiNsroma Foundation (ANF)
    2 Human Rights Watch, “Sri Lanka Uses Pandemic to Curtail Free Expression,” April 3, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/03/sri-lanka-uses-pandemic-curtail-free-expression.

    Accountability Lab
    Actions for Development and Empowerment
    Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN)
    Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
    AHAM Humanitarian Resource Center
    Alliance Sud
    ALTSEAN-Burma
    Alyansa Tigil Mina (Alliance to Stop Mining)
    American Jewish World Service
    Arab Watch Coalition
    ARCI
    ARTICLE 19
    Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia
    Ayiti Nou Vle A
    BudgIT Foundation
    Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO)
    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
    Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
    Center for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics
    Center for Democratic Education
    Centre for Environmental Justice
    Centre for Human Rights and Development
    CIVICUS
    Conectas
    Connected Development
    Consumer Unity and Trust Society Zambia
    Corporación Acción Ciudadana Colombia - AC-Colombia
    CurbingCorruption
    Development Alliance NGO
    Eastern Social Development Foundation
    Ensemble Contre la Corruption-ECC
    Environics Trust
    Etika Asbl, Luxemburg
    Facing Finance
    FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
    First Peoples Worldwide
    FORES - Argentina
    Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth (FOCONE)
    Freedom House

    Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
    Gambia Participates
    Global Legal Action Network
    Global Network for Sustainable Development
    Global Witness
    Green Advocates International
    Heartland Initiative
    Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH)
    Human Rights Watch
    IFEX
    Indian Social Action Forum
    Integrity Initiatives International
    Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
    International Accountability Project (IAP)
    International Campaign for the Rohingya
    Jamaa Resource Initiatives
    Liberia CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition - LCACC
    Living Laudato Si' Philippines
    зөвшөөрсөн
    Mongolian Women's Employment Supporting Federation
    NGO Forum on ADB
    Nigeria Network and Campaign for Peace Education
    North East Coordinating Committee
    Oil Workers' Rights Protection Organization Public Union
    OpenCorporates
    Oxfam
    Oyu Tolgoi Watch
    PEFA Forum
    Phenix Center for Economic Studies
    Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc.
    Photo Circle
    Positivo Malawi
    Project Blueprint
    RAID
    Rchard Matey
    Recourse
    Réseau Camerounais des Organisations des droits de l'homme
    Rights CoLab
    Rivers without Boundaries Mongolia

    Sano Paila (A Little Step)
    Sanskriti
    Sayanaa Wellbeing Association
    Shadow World Investigations (formerly Corruption Watch UK)
    Sibuyan Against Mining / Bayay Sibuyanon Inc.
    Slums Information Development and Resource Centers (SIDAREC)
    Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
    The Future We Need
    Umeedenoo
    Universal Rights and Development NGO
    Urgewald
    Witness Radio Organization – Uganda
    Women’s Action Network
    WoMin African Alliance
    YES Project Initiative
    Youth Empowerment & Leadership Foundation
    Youth Group on Protection of Environment
    Zambia National Education Coalition


    1 IMF, Gabon: Request for a Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument, April 16, 2020, https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2020/04/16/Gabon-Request-for-a-Purchase- Under-the-Rapid-Financing-Instrument-Press-Release-Staff-Report-49336.

    2 Human Rights Watch, “Sri Lanka Uses Pandemic to Curtail Free Expression,” April 3, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/03/sri-lanka-uses-pandemic-curtail-free-expression.

     

     

     

     

  • ASIA: ‘Under the pandemic, racism against Indigenous peoples has intensified’

    CIVICUS speaks to Gam Shimray, Secretary General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), about the situation of Indigenous groups in Asia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. AIPP is a regional federation of Indigenous peoples’ movements in Asia that works to promote and defend Indigenous peoples’ human rights, including land rights and cultural rights. Because of their subordination and distinctiveness from mainstream culture and politics,Indigenous peoples are subjected to gross human rights violations, systematic racism, discrimination and dispossession. As a result of the denial of their rights to land, territory and resources, many Indigenous peoples are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

    Gam Shimray

    Can you tell us about the work of AIPP?

    The work of AIPP is guided by our belief in universal human rights and the inherent right to self-determination of all peoples, including Indigenous peoples. The rights to self-determination and self-government are a social necessity for the continuity of Indigenous social processes and self-development.

    While our advocacy work is primarily focused on the regional and global levels, linkages with country-level processes are built through our members and networks. AIPP consolidates a common position of Indigenous organisations for regional and global advocacy. For this, we focus on building capacity in communities, consolidating Indigenous movements and setting a common agenda for collective campaigning and advocacy at the country level.

    AIPP also focuses on building leadership and promoting distributive leadership across Asia, including among women, young people and persons with disabilities.

    What was the situation of Indigenous peoples in Asia prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the political situation in Asia had been deteriorating, particularly in the past few years. We have seen an increasing clampdown on civil society and the restriction of democratic space for public debate and opinion formation in several Asian countries. Some public intellectuals attribute this trend to the retreat of political leadership from democracy and human rights.

    The transitions to democracy from authoritarian governments in recent decades, such as the Philippines in the 1980s, Indonesia in the late 1990s and Nepal in the 2000s, have remained incomplete. Other countries, such as China, Laos and Vietnam, have de jure one-party systems, and Cambodia has a de facto one. In Myanmar, the military still holds a grip on the government, while Thailand’s tradition of high tolerance is yet to produce a stable democratic modern state. Further, rising populism is posing a serious threat to democracies. In India, the world’s largest democracy and arguably one of Asia’s strongest, we are seeing a continuous assault on autonomous institutions, from the judiciary to the central bank and the free press, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s populist government.

    The result is that in the last few years, most of the human rights defenders killed have been Indigenous peoples. They lost their lives defending their rights, homes, lands, territories and resources.

    These problems are also evidence of deeper and underlying issues that relate to the inadequacy of political and institutional capacity to address effectively the challenges of democracy and human rights in Asian countries. We are faced with moral and political questions that call for serious examination of the erosion of human rights standards and practices and the weakening of political and institutional capacity to respond to present social and political issues. The suffering experienced by poor people during the COVID-19 pandemic is evidence of this.

    What challenges have Indigenous groups and activists faced under the pandemic?

    Issues and challenges vary across countries as the situation differs. One of the main challenges relates to the fact that most governments in Asia initiated countrywide lockdowns without much preparation, leading to chaos. The situation was simply overwhelming, and we could not respond to the needs of activists, communities, or migrant labourers.

    Migrant workers, refugees and stateless persons suffered the most, and those without ID cards struggled to prove their citizenship, which they needed to receive government aid. Most migrants and refugees lack proper documentation and errors in registration abound. Those left out from national registries are denied national ID cards.

    Under the pandemic, racism against Indigenous peoples has intensified. The situation has been worst in India, where people from the north-eastern part of the country have been thrown out of their hotels and rented houses. They have been denied the ability to buy food from grocery shops and board public transport. They have been spat on and taken into custody without an explanation. Many people, including women, have been beaten up for no reason, and many in cities across India are living in fear.

    In some countries, governments are using the situation as a cover for conducting military campaigns, grabbing land, granting permission for large-scale development projects, rolling back protective rights and weakening environmental laws and safeguards. Several activists and community members have been killed or jailed under trumped-up charges in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and the Philippines. Community leaders have also been stopped by police and security forces from carrying out relief work and helping starving communities.

    These incidents are grave in nature and there is extraordinarily little that we can do about them, as people cannot go out and protest or campaign, and can hardly access the courts. In India, e-petitions are allowed, and urgent matters are still heard by courts through video conferencing, but most communities are not familiar with such complicated processes and many do not even have proper internet access.

    How have AIPP and other Indigenous rights organisations responded to the situation? 

    The first thing we did was reach out to our members and networks to gather information from the ground. We also responded to those reaching out to us for support. Our first action was to provide or mobilise relief, and particularly food for those in critical need, in different areas through our members and networks. Our outreach also focused on sharing information concerning Indigenous communities. This was necessary because misinformation has been overwhelming, leading to panic-driven reactions from communities. We shared appeals to communities calling for humane responses and disseminating good practices that communities could implement.

    The situation is complicated because it is not just about responding to the pandemic. Indigenous peoples face multiple underlying issues. The least we could do was register our protest and conduct our campaigns through digital channels.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded many hidden issues and poses new challenges. So we are assessing and making efforts to take the next steps to cope with the longer-term impact of the pandemic. In this regard, we have also formed a regional network for COVID-19 response, which is in the process of expansion. We will be coming up with a preliminary regional assessment report soon, which will help us plan better. We can already see that capacity building will be crucial as we adapt to what is called the ‘new normal’.

    What further support do Indigenous groups need at this time?

    The support that Indigenous communities need is enormous as the impact is going to be long term. But few things that must be stressed are the following.

    First, we need to set up COVID-19 response cells with designated funds at the local level, with a team of designated nodal officers to coordinate with state or provincial authorities and civil society organisations to monitor Indigenous issues and provide the necessary support. The response team should also coordinate with the appropriate authorities to cater to the special needs of women, children, older people and persons with disabilities in Indigenous areas.

    Second, we need to ensure that appropriate guidelines and instructions are issued to provincial and local authorities on measures to be taken for Indigenous peoples to deal with COVID-19 and lockdown, including on ensuring compliance.

    Third, it is critical to raise awareness and ensure access to healthcare. It is important to prepare community-friendly information materials that clearly explain the nature of the disease, quarantine and containment measures and testing, helping dispel myths. Coordination between health department workers and traditional healers is needed to ensure that Indigenous knowledge systems are part of these response mechanisms. Localised and separate quarantine strategies encouraging natural environment and community participation should be promoted. COVID-19 care centres can be set up at the community level, managed by community healers and nurses. 

    In remote areas, mobile health units should be deployed involving community healers and health workers. Special attention should be given to areas with migrant workers who have returned home. Testing and quarantine facilities should be immediately provided to them. Access to health services in case of emergencies, including transportation, should also be provided. Access to safe water for cleaning and drinking is another critical need that should be ensured. 

    Ensuring food security and incomes and protecting livelihoods is also crucial given the known evidence of undernourishment in many Indigenous areas. Over at least the next six months it will be necessary to distribute free rations of nutritional food to everybody, irrespective of people’s migratory status or whether they have an ID card. 

    Lastly, it is urgent to strengthen non-timber forest produce (NTFP)-based livelihoods by urgently devising effective institutional mechanisms for collection, storage, procurement and sale. Dependence on NTFP is high across Asia. Financial and logistical support should be provided directly to the communities to help generate sustainable livelihoods. Communities living in protected areas must be allowed to have access to forests for livelihood purposes. 

    What lessons you have learned so far about the situation of Indigenous people under the pandemic?

    Under the pandemic, the situation has been overwhelming, and the measures imposed by governments have led to acts of brutality from police and security forces. We saw hundreds of poor people die of starvation and those venturing out in desperation brutalised by the police.

    The potential impact was looking grim, and had we not put our trust in the people and the communities, the efforts we made would have been far less successful. Relief work had to be efficient and putting our trust in community volunteers to do the job was the key to success, for instance in Malaysia and Thailand. Whatever resources were generated were transferred to them and they reported back on the actions carried out through phone or other means available to them.

    Further, in our observation, several communities responded very well to the situation by initiating village lockdowns, regulating visits, quarantining returnees, or self-isolating themselves despite having little information or no appropriate resources and equipment. There were fears too but communities were quick in overcoming them and improved their responses. Communities have not just received relief from us or others, but some of them also contributed food for other communities in need. Most of those communities had worked with us and had successfully managed their food production systems and natural resources. They were not worried about food shortages; rather, their leaders used the opportunity to create awareness about the importance of improving local production and sustainable resource management. Personally, this has been inspiring.

    We have also been inspired by communities organising themselves and using local healing practices and medicine to improve immunity and resistance to the disease, or establishing food exchange systems with little or no help  from the state, at a time when state-run programmes were not functional or did not arrive in time. Most importantly, this showed that devolution and community empowerment can be more effective in dealing with the crisis if resources and support are provided to such self-governing local institutions. 

    Spontaneous community responses came almost naturally because these are historically self-governing communities. Looking forward, trusting people and empowering communities will enable the state to deal more efficiently with public health crises and their long-term impacts.

    Get in touch with the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact through itswebsite andFacebook page, and follow@aippneton Twitter.

     

  • Bahrain: Free Imprisoned Rights Defenders and Activists

    Extend Releases to Those at Special Risk of COVID-19

     

  • Bangladesh: Stifling expression using Digital Security Act must not be the norm to address COVID-19 pandemic

     
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    A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission and CIVICUS

    The Bangladesh government has resorted once again to its notorious Digital Security Act-2018 to muzzle freedom of expression, arresting 11 individuals following criticism of the governments’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Four people have been detained since 5 May 2020 under the draconian digital law, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, writer Mushtaq Ahmed, IT specialist Md. Didarul Islam Bhuyan, and Dhaka Stock Exchange Director Minhaz Mannan Emon. A further seven people have been charged. 

    All four detainees were forcibly disappeared for hours after they were picked up by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from different locations in Dhaka on 5 May 2020. Following a social media outcry, the RAB officially handed them over to the Metropolitan police on 6 May at around 7:45 PM, and a case under the Digital Security Act was filed against them by Abu Bakar Siddique, the Deputy Assistant Director of RAB. They remain in detention.

    The seven other individuals accused in the same case are Tasneem Khalil, Editor-in-Chief of Netra News, which the government has blocked in Bangladesh since it was launched last year from Sweden; Saer Zulkarnain; Shahed Alam; Ashik Imran; Shapan Wahed; Philip Schuhmacher; and Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger of Bangladeshi origin living in Germany.

    All 11 have been charged under various provisions of the Digital Security Act including ‘propaganda or campaign against liberation war’ and ‘publishing, sending of offensive, false or fear inducing data-information’. Authorities have confirmed that the charges relate to allegedly ‘spreading rumours’ over the coronavirus pandemic on social media. If convicted, they could each face up to seven years in jail. 

    The Digital Security Act, passed in October 2018 to replace the often-misused Information and Communication Technology Act, included harsher provisions that have been used to penalize criticism of the government. The law gives the power to security agencies to hold individuals indefinitely in pretrial detention. And, it has created a chilling effect among activists and journalists. Despite repeated calls to bring the law in line with Bangladesh’s international commitments to protect freedom of expression, the government has refused to revise the law.

    In times of crisis, people’s health depends at minimum on access to information both off and online. Silencing journalists and activists and blocking websites, is not an effective public health strategy. We urge the authorities to end its use of restrictive laws to silence critics and amid the pandemic ensure the right to seek, receive, and share information relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    We further call on the government of Bangladesh to immediately release the detained critics and drop the charges brought against them and seven other individuals under repressive legislation. The COVID-19 pandemic is not an excuse to use state forces to stifle freedom of expression.

     

    Background:

    The pandemic has exposed failings by the government in addressing a public health emergency. Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 were denied access to public and private hospitals and died without treatment. The country’s healthcare system failed to provide adequate protective equipment and necessary infrastructures in hospitals to treat the pandemic. Within weeks, hundreds of doctors and nurses were infected with COVID-19, according to the Bangladesh Medical Association. 

    Persistent suppression of freedom of expression and censorship under the government of Sheikh Hasina has continued amid the pandemic. The authorities have blocked international news outlet Al-Jazeera and numerous other news portals and websites critical of the state. A monitoring body established by the Ministry of Information to monitor if private television channels were “running any propaganda or rumours about the novel coronavirus outbreak” was scrapped after public outcry.

    Due to the muzzling of the press by the authorities, social media has become the preferred platform for those critical of the regime. In response, the police and the RAB have started picking up people for their Facebook posts. On 10th of April 2020, it was reported that at least 50 people were arrested in the country for allegedly spreading rumors. The government has also blocked dozens of websites and Facebook profiles as of late March after the government officially acknowledged the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthcare workers, who spoke out about the problems they have been facing, have been barred from talking to media

    The CIVICUS Monitor, an online platform that tracks threats to civil society in countries across the globe, rates the space for civil society in Bangladesh as repressed.

     

     

  • Carta abierta: Los donantes y colaboradores deben actuar para asegurar la resiliencia de la sociedad civil frente a la pandemia del COVID-19

    Estimados donantes y colaboradores de la sociedad civil,

    A medida que evoluciona la respuesta mundial a la pandemia de COVID-19, organizaciones de la sociedad civil de todo el mundo están adoptando medidas proactivas para proteger la salud y el bienestar de su personal y el de sus colaboradores. Entre estas medidas se incluyen los cambios en la estrategia, la reordenación de prioridades y los ajustes en la programación y la divulgación. Al mismo tiempo, la infraestructura de la sociedad civil está sometida a una visible e inmensa presión financiera. Los proyectos se han aplazado, los resultados se han retrasado y las energías se han desviado a la elaboración de planes alternativos. Se han cancelado grandes eventos con importantes pérdidas financieras. Los fondos se han redirigido (acertadamente) de las actividades que se habían planificado a medidas de respuesta para el COVID-19.  Las provisiones - en caso de que existan - son limitadas y pronto se agotarán.

    Para responder a estos retos extraordinarios se requiere flexibilidad en la forma de utilizar nuestras subvenciones. Nos fortalecen e inspiran particularmente los mensajes de apoyo que han lanzado donantes y colaboradores reafirmando su compromiso para permitir la máxima flexibilidad a quienes apoyan. Es un importante signo de confianza y reconocimiento del papel crucial que la sociedad civil y la acción cívica ocupan en nuestras sociedades, ahora más que nunca. 

    Hacemos un llamamiento a todos los donantes e intermediarios que prestan un apoyo esencial a la sociedad civil para que adopten enfoques similares ofreciendo la mayor flexibilidad, certidumbre y estabilidad posible a quienes reciben sus subvenciones así como a sus asociados.

    Éstas son cinco formas concretas para lograrlo:

    1. Escuchar a sus socios beneficiarios y explorar juntos la mejor manera de ayudarles a afrontar la crisis, confiando en que ellos son los que mejor saben lo que se necesita en sus propios contextos.
    2. Fomentar el rediseño y la reprogramación de las actividades planificadas y los productos finales y proporcionar una orientación clara sobre cómo buscar la aprobación de estos cambios.
    3. Apoyar formas nuevas y creativas de crear una cultura de solidaridad e interacción, respetando al mismo tiempo el distanciamiento físico y otras medidas de precaución. 
    4. Ofrecer mayor flexibilidad replanteando las cuotas de pago en función de las necesidades reales, convirtiendo las subvenciones de proyectos existentes en fondos no restringidos o añadiendo fondos adicionales para ayudar a acumular reservas o cubrir gastos imprevistos.
    5. Simplificar los procedimientos y plazos de presentación de informes y solicitudes, de modo que los grupos de la sociedad civil puedan dedicar mejor su tiempo, energía y recursos a prestar apoyo a los más vulnerables en lugar de cumplir pesados requisitos de presentación de informes y mecanismos de auditoría.

    CIVICUS continuará luchando por un sólido espacio cívico, incluyendo medidas que permitan a la sociedad civil movilizarse con y para los grupos más afectados por la pandemia del Coronavirus. En estos tiempos críticos, debemos alimentar el espacio cívico y a sus actores con recursos incrementando su relevancia y capacidad de recuperación, no reduciéndolas. También debemos ser conscientes de que el momento actual también podría ser aprovechado por algunos actores para restringir aún más el espacio cívico.

    Imaginen lo que podría suceder si todos los grupos y movimientos de la sociedad civil detienen o reducen repentinamente sus esfuerzos por llevarnos hacia un mundo más justo, inclusivo y sostenible. Imagínese ahora una comunidad mundial de ciudadanos informados, inspirados y comprometidos que se dediquen colectivamente a hacer frente a los desafíos a los que se enfrenta la humanidad, incluida la actual pandemia.  Debemos hacer lo que sea necesario para mantener una sociedad civil viva, vibrante y resistente.

    La forma en que enfrentemos esta pandemia tendrá profundas y duraderas repercusiones en la forma en que construyamos el futuro de nuestro mundo.

    Esta crisis puede abordarse con éxito mediante una cultura mundial de solidaridad y acción cívica, sustentada en una intensa cooperación, confianza y reparto de la carga. Y su papel, como financiadores y colaboradores de la sociedad civil, es fundamental para alcanzarlo.

     

  • CIVICUS : Les États doivent placer les droits de l'homme au centre de toutes les réponses au COVID-19

     

    • Pendant la pandémie mondiale COVID-19, les États ne devraient pas imposer de loi d'urgence comme prétexte pour restreindre les droits civiques
    • Les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et les prisonniers politiques doivent être libérés pour enrayer la propagation
    • Les gouvernements devraient faire preuve de transparence dans leur réponse aux menaces que représente le COVID-19
    • CIVICUS exhorte les États à lever les mesures d'urgence dès que les menaces liées au virus diminuent

     

    Alors que la communauté mondiale continue à prendre des mesures pour stopper la propagation du COVID-19 et finalement l'éradiquer, les États devraient s'assurer que la protection des droits de l'homme est au centre de toutes les réponses.

    En mars 2020, l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a déclaré que l'épidémie du virus COVID-19 avait atteint le niveau d'une pandémie mondiale. L'OMS a alors demandé à tous les gouvernements de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour arrêter la propagation de la maladie.

    Cependant, comme on l'a observé dans d'autres situations d'urgence, certains gouvernements ont utilisé la crise pour restreindre les libertés civiques et maintenir les restrictions - même après que les menaces sanitaires qui justifiaient les actions des gouvernements se soient atténuées. Les États qui réagissent à la propagation du virus COVID-19 doivent veiller à ce que les lois et les normes internationales en matière de droits de l'homme soient au cœur de leurs interventions.

    Alors que l'attention de la communauté mondiale au cours des prochains mois sera dirigée vers le virus, les États pourraient multiplier les attaques contre la société civile et imposer des restrictions. Les États devraient prendre des mesures proactives pour s'assurer que les organisations de la société civile et les groupes vulnérables sont protégés de manière adéquate. En Chine, des militants ont été harcelés et intimidés pour avoir partagé des informations sur le virus, tandis que les reportages ont été censurés. Dans d'autres parties de l'Asie, des lois répressives sont déployées pour arrêter ceux qui sont soupçonnés de propager des mensonges sur le virus.

    En tant que maladie infectieuse, le risque de COVID-19 augmente dans les espaces fermés comme les prisons, les postes de police et les centres de détention. Le surpeuplement, la mauvaise alimentation et le manque d'accès à une hygiène adéquate augmentent le risque d'infection des prisonniers. Les États ont désormais l'obligation de libérer les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et les prisonniers politiques des prisons afin d'enrayer la propagation de la maladie.

    Certains prisonniers des prisons iraniennes ont contracté le virus. Si nous félicitons les autorités iraniennes pour la libération temporaire de 85 000 prisonniers, les défenseurs des droits de l'homme - dont le seul crime est de défendre les droits des femmes et des jeunes - devraient également être libérés. D'autres Etats ayant un passé de détention de défenseurs des droits de l'homme et de membres de l'opposition politique, comme l'Egypte, le Vietnam et le Cameroun, devraient suivre cet exemple.

    Les déclarations d'état d'urgence pour des raisons de santé et de sécurité doivent être faites en conformité avec la loi : les États ne doivent pas imposer une loi d'urgence comme prétexte pour restreindre les droits civiques et cibler des groupes, des minorités et des individus particuliers. Les lois d'urgence ne doivent pas être imposées pour réduire au silence les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et elles doivent être levées dès que les menaces que représente le virus diminuent. En outre, les groupes de la société civile devraient être consultés dans la mesure du possible.

    Il est obligatoire pour toutes les personnes touchées, en particulier les groupes marginalisés et les groupes de la société civile qui travaillent avec eux, d'avoir accès à des informations significatives concernant la nature et l'étendue des menaces posées par le virus. Ils doivent également disposer d'informations sur les moyens de réduire les risques en temps utile. Les restrictions et les coupures d'Internet dans des pays comme le Myanmar, l'Inde et l'Éthiopie mettent des milliers de personnes en danger.

    A cet égard, CIVICUS appelle les Etats à:

    • Collaborer avec les médias et la société civile pour faire preuve de transparence dans la réponse aux menaces que représente le COVID-19. Lutter contre la désinformation à tout moment sans recourir à la censure et aux sanctions pénales.
    • S'abstenir d'utiliser les réponses au COVID-19 comme prétexte pour imposer des restrictions à la société civile, cibler les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et restreindre les libertés en ligne.
    • Libérer tous les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et les prisonniers politiques qui ont été emprisonnés pour leurs activités en faveur des droits de l'homme ou pour avoir exprimé des opinions contraires à celles de l'État.
    • Lever les lois d'urgence et assouplir les mesures imposées pour freiner la propagation du virus dès que les menaces diminuent.
    • Maintenir un accès fiable et sans entraves à internet et mettre fin à toute interférence délibérée avec le droit d'accès et de partage de l'information.

    FIN

     

    Contact:

    Nina Teggarty, Responsable de la communication, des campagne et du plaidoyer de CIVICUS

    Email:

    Phone: +27 (0)785013500

    CIVICUS media team:

     

  • CIVICUS: States should put human rights at the centre of all responses to COVID-19

    • During the global COVID-19 pandemic states should not impose emergency law as a pretext to restrict civic rights
    • Human rights defenders and political prisoners should be released to curb the spread
    • Governments should be transparent in responding to threats posed by COVID-19
    • CIVICUS urges states to lift emergency measures as soon as the threat of the virus diminishes

    As the global community continues to take measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately eradicate it, states should ensure that the protection of human rights are at the centre of all responses.

    In March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus reached the level of a global pandemic. WHO in turn requested that all governments take necessary action to stop the spread of the disease.

    However, as observed with other emergencies, some governments have used crises to curtail civic freedoms and maintain restrictions - even after health threats that justified governments’ actions subsided. States responding to the spread of the COVID-19 virus must ensure that international human rights laws and standards are central to their responses.

    While the focus and attention of the global community over the coming months will be directed towards the virus, states may increase attacks on civil society and impose restrictions. States should take pro-active measures to ensure that civil society organisations and vulnerable groups are adequately protected. In China, activists have been harassed and intimidated for sharing information on the virus while reporting has been censored. In other parts of Asia, repressive laws are being deployed to arrest those supposedly spreading untruths about the virus.

    As an infectious disease, the risk of COVID-19 increases in closed spaces like jails, police cells and detention centres. Overcrowding, poor nutrition and lack of access to proper hygiene increase the risk of infection to prisoners. States have an obligation now to release human rights defenders and political prisoners from jail in an effort to curb the spread.

    Some prisoners in Iranian jails have contracted the virus. While we commend the Iranian authorities for temporarily releasing 85,000 prisoners, human rights defenders - whose only crime was to defend the rights of women and juveniles - should also be released. Other states with a history of detaining human rights defenders and members of the political opposition, such as Egypt, Vietnam and Cameroon, should follow suit.

    Declarations of states of emergency for health and security reasons must be done in conformity with the law: states should not impose emergency law as a pretext to restrict civic rights and target particular groups, minorities and individuals. Emergency laws should not be imposed to silence human rights defenders and they must be lifted as soon as threats posed by the virus diminish. Further, civil society groups should be consulted where possible.

    It is compulsory for all those affected, especially marginalised groups and civil society groups working with them, to have access to meaningful information regarding the nature and extent of the threats posed by the virus. They should also have information on ways to curb risks in a timely manner. Internet restrictions and shutdowns in countries like Myanmar, India and Ethiopia are putting thousands at risk.

    In this regard, CIVICUS calls on states to:

    • Collaborate with the media and civil society to be transparent in responding to threats posed by COVID-19. Address misinformation at all times without relying on censorship and criminal sanctions
    • Refrain from using responses to COVID-19 as a pretext to impose restrictions of civil society, target human rights defenders and curb online freedoms
    • Release all human rights defenders and political prisoners who were imprisoned for their human rights activities, or for expressing views contrary to those of the state
    • Lift emergency laws and relax measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus as soon as the threats diminish
    • Maintain reliable and unfettered access to the internet and end all deliberate interference with the right to access and share information

    ENDS

     

    Contact:

    Nina Teggarty, CIVICUS Communications Officer, Campaigns & Advocacy

    Email:

    Phone: +27 (0)785013500

    CIVICUS media team:

     

  • Civil Society Calls for Urgent Release of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons

    Arabic

    As we mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day this year, Palestinian prisoners and detainees face the additional threat of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Israeli prisons and detention centers. While governments around the world are being called on to release prisoners and those detained in violation of international law, the Israeli occupying authorities have taken no steps to release Palestinian prisoners and detainees or to adequately mitigate and prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in prisons. Instead, mass arbitrary detentions and arrests, a staple of Israel’s prolonged military occupation and widespread and systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people, have continued during the pandemic.[i]

     

  • Coronavirus and European Civil Society

    By Aarti Narsee, Civic Space Researcher at CIVICUS

    European civil society is in a tug-of-war between restrictions, which may lead to the rise of a more fragile, authoritarian Europe, and resilience, which may suggest a more optimistic future in which civil society emerges stronger than before.

    A wave of civic resilience is sweeping across Europe. From online protests to symbolic messaging within the confines of physical distancing, activists are finding creative ways to fight back against perceived injustices amid restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The extent to which civil society can succeed in these efforts will determine what kind of Europe emerges from the pandemic.

    Read on Carnegie Europe

     

  • COVID-19 : Les gouvernements de la région MENA doivent prendre des mesures urgentes pour protéger la population carcérale

    À la lumière de la pandémie de COVID-19 − qualifiée « d'urgence de santé publique de portée internationale » par l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) − nous, les organisations soussignées, exprimons notre vive inquiétude quant à la situation des détenu·e·s et des prisonnier.e.s dans la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord (MENA). Si certains États de la région ont pris des mesures positives pour protéger la population dans son ensemble, la population carcérale reste particulièrement exposée à la propagation du virus.

    Plusieurs pays de la région MENA ont déjà des systèmes de santé surchargés, certains considérablement affaiblis par des années de conflit armé. Dans ces pays, les prisons et les centres de détention sont souvent surpeuplés, insalubres et souffrent d'un manque de ressources ; en conséquence, les détenu·e·s se voient régulièrement refuser un accès adéquat aux soins médicaux. Ces difficultés ne font que s'aggraver en période d'urgence sanitaire, exposant les personnes privées de liberté à des risques accrus, tout en accentuant la pression sur des infrastructures de santé en prison déjà fragilisées. De plus, les personnes en détention interagissent régulièrement avec les gardien·ne·s de prison, les policier·e·s et les professionnels de la santé qui sont en contact avec le monde extérieur. Ne pas protéger les prisonnier·e·s et le personnel pénitentiaire contre le COVID-19 peut avoir des conséquences négatives pour le reste de la population.

    En vertu du droit international relatif aux droits humains, tout individu a droit au meilleur état de santé physique et mentale susceptible d'être atteint. Les États ayant l'obligation de garantir la réalisation de ce droit sont tenus de veiller à ce que les détenu·e·s et les prisonnier·e·s soient traité·e·s humainement dans le respect de leur dignité et ne soient pas soumis·e·s à des traitements cruels, inhumains et dégradants. Les Règles Nelson Mandela exigent le respect du principe d’équivalence des soins, ce qui signifie que les personnes placées en milieu pénitentiaire doivent pouvoir bénéficier de soins de santé équivalents à ceux mis à disposition de la population civile générale. Cela ne change pas en période de pandémie.

    Bien que des restrictions, notamment sur les visites en prison, puissent être imposées pour freiner la propagation de maladies infectieuses comme le COVID-19, elles doivent respecter les principes de proportionnalité et de transparence. Toute mesure, y compris les libérations de prisonnier·e·s, doit être prise conformément à des critères clairs et transparents, sans discrimination.

    À la lumière de ce qui précède,

    Nous appelons les gouvernements de la région MENA à:

    (1) Rendre publiques les politiques et directives spécifiques à leur pays et, le cas échéant, les politiques et lignes directrices mises en place pour empêcher la propagation de COVID-19 dans les centres de détention, les prisons et les commissariats de police.

    (2) Partager leurs plans d’interventions d'urgence et dispenser une formation spécifique au personnel et aux autorités compétentes afin de garantir un accès suffisant et durable aux soins de santé et à l'hygiène.

    (3) Procéder à un examen approfondi de la population carcérale et, en conséquence, réduire leur population carcérale en ordonnant la libération immédiate:

    1. des détenu·e·s et prisonnier·e·s « à faible risque », y compris celles et ceux qui ont été condamné·e·s ou placé·e·s en détention préventive pour des infractions non violentes, les personnes placées en détention administrative ainsi que toute personne dont la détention continue ne peut être justifiée;
    2. des détenu·e·s et prisonnier·e·s particulièrement vulnérables au virus, y compris les personnes âgées et les personnes présentant un état médical sous-jacent grave, tel que des maladies pulmonaires et cardiaques, le diabète ou encore des maladies auto-immunes.

    (4) Permettre aux personnes actuellement en liberté surveillée de s'acquitter de leurs obligations depuis leur domicile.

    (5) Garantir que les personnes qui restent en détention:

    1. voient leur droit à la santé effectivement respecté en ayant pleinement accès aux soins médicaux nécessaires;
    2. aient accès au test du COVID-19 et à une assistance appropriée selon le principe d’équivalence des soins;
    3. disposent de moyens de communication et de possibilités d'accès au monde extérieur lorsque les visites en personne sont suspendues ;
    4. continuent de jouir de leur droit à une procédure régulière, y compris, sans s'y limiter, le droit de contester la légalité de leur détention, et leur droit de ne pas subir de retards qui rendraient leur détention arbitraire.

    Nous appelons l'Organisation mondiale de la santé, le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et les titulaires de mandat au titre des procédures spéciales du Conseil des droits de l'homme des Nations unies à publier des déclarations publiques et des directives mettant en évidence les recommandations et les meilleures pratiques à l’attention de tous les gouvernements en matière de détention et d'emprisonnement en période de pandémie.

    Organisations signataires:

     

    ACAT - France (Action by Christians Against Torture)

    Access Now

    Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

    ALQST for Human Rights

    Arab Network for Knowledge about Human rights (ANKH)

    Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)

    ARCI (Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana)

    Association of Detainees and Missing in Sednaya Prison

    Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)

    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights

    Bahrain Transparency Society

    Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

    CIVICUS

    Committee for Justice

    Democratic Transition and Human Rights support (DAAM Center)

    Digital Citizenship Organisation

    DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture

    Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms

    Egyptian Human Rights Forum

    El Nadim Center

    HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual

    Human Rights First

    Initiative franco-égyptienne pour les droits les libertés (IFEDL)

    International Commission of Jurists

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

    Kuwaiti Transparency Society

    Lebanese Centre For Human Rights

    medico international e.V., Germany

    MENA Rights Group

    Mwatana for Human Rights

    Physicians for Human Rights - Israel

    Project on Middle East Democracy

    Reprieve

    Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

    Syrian Center For Legal Studies and Researches

    Syrian Network for Human Rights

    Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)

    UMAM Documentation & Research (MENA Prison Forum)

    Women's March Global

    World Organisation Against Torture

     

     

  • COVID-19 Used as Smokescreen to Undermine Gender Rights Globally

    By Aarti Narsee, Civic Space Researcher at CIVICUS

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sexual and reproductive rights are being attacked globally: LGBTQI+ persons are facing heightened discrimination, women find themselves trapped indoors with the perpetrators of domestic violence, and access to abortion is being restricted.

    Not only have most governments failed to respond to the crisis through a gendered lens, deepening already harmful gender inequalities, but many have used the crisis as an opportunity to introduce laws that threaten to have a detrimental long-term effect on gender rights. In some cases, especially where far-right governments are in power, political leaders are using the opportunity to further push their anti-rights agenda.

    Read on Women's Media Center

     

  • COVID-19: Urgent measures must be taken by MENA governments to protect the prison population

    Arabic

    In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic outbreak—qualified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO)—we, the undersigned organisations, express grave concern over the situation of detainees and prisoners across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). While certain states in the region have taken some positive steps to protect the general population, the prison population remains particularly vulnerable. 

    Several countries in the MENA region have overstretched health systems and infrastructures, some of which have also been considerably weakened by years of armed conflict. In these countries, prisons and detention facilities are often overcrowded, unsanitary, and suffer from a lack of resources; accordingly, detainees are routinely denied proper access to medical care. These challenges are only further exacerbated during a health emergency, subjecting detainees and prisoners to heightened risk and placing weak prison health infrastructures under immense stress. Moreover, individuals in detention regularly interact with prison wardens, police officers, and health professionals who engage with the general population. Failure to protect prisoners and prison staff from COVID-19 may have negative implications for the population more broadly.

    Under international human rights law, every individual has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States have an obligation to guarantee realization of this right. In addition, states have the obligation to ensure that detainees and prisoners are treated humanely and with respect for their dignity and not subject to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.  The Nelson Mandela Rules require equivalence in healthcare—meaning that healthcare in prisons must meet the same standards as healthcare outside of them. This does not change during a pandemic.

    While restrictions, including on prison visits, may be imposed to curb the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, they must abide by the principles of proportionality and transparency. Any measure, including prison releases, must be taken in accordance with clear and transparent criteria, without discrimination. 

    In light of the above, 

    We call on governments in the MENA region to:

    1. Make known to the public their country-specific, and if relevant, facility-specific policies and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention centers, prisons, and police stations.
    2. Share their emergency preparedness plans and provide specific training to relevant staff and authorities to ensure sufficient and sustained access to healthcare and hygiene provision.
    3. Conduct a thorough review of the prison population and in turn, reduce their prison populations by ordering the immediate release of:
      1. “Low-risk” detainees and prisoners, including those convicted or held in pretrial detention (remand) for nonviolent offences; administrative detainees; and those whose continued detention is not justified;
      2. Detainees and prisoners particularly vulnerable to the virus, including the elderly, and individuals with serious underlying conditions including lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

           4. Allow individuals serving probation and probationary measures to fulfill their probation and probationary measures in their homes.
           5.Guarantee that individuals who remain in detention:

      1. Have their right to health effectively upheld by being granted full access to medical care as required;
      2. Access COVID-19 testing and treatment on a standard equal to that governing the general population;
      3. Are provided with means of communication and opportunities to access the outside world when in-person visits are suspended;
      4. Continue to enjoy their right to due process, including but not limited to the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, and their right not to experience delays that would render their detention arbitrary. 

    We call on the World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, and UN Human Rights Council Special Procedures mandate holders to issue public statements and guidance highlighting recommendations and best practices for all governments around detention and imprisonment during a global pandemic. 

    Undersigned organisations:

    (Listed in alphabetical order)

    ACAT - France (Action by Christians Against Torture)

    Access Now

    Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

    ALQST for Human Rights

    Arab Network for Knowledge about Human rights (ANKH)

    Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)

    ARCI (Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana)

    Association of Detainees and Missing in Sednaya Prison

    Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)

    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights

    Bahrain Transparency Society

    Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

    CIVICUS

    Committee for Justice

    Democratic Transition and Human Rights support (DAAM Center)

    Digital Citizenship Organisation

    DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture

    Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms

    Egyptian Human Rights Forum

    El Nadim Center

    HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual

    Human Rights First

    Initiative franco-égyptienne pour les droits les libertés (IFEDL)

    International Commission of Jurists

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

    Kuwaiti Transparency Society

    Lebanese Centre For Human Rights

    medico international e.V., Germany

    MENA Rights Group

    Mwatana for Human Rights

    Physicians for Human Rights - Israel

    Project on Middle East Democracy

    Reprieve

    Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

    Syrian Center For Legal Studies and Researches

    Syrian Network for Human Rights

    Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)

    UMAM Documentation & Research (MENA Prison Forum)

    Women's March Global

    World Organisation Against Torture

     

  • En cette journée du prisonnier palestinien, la société civile appelle à la libération urgente des prisonniers/ères et détenu/es palestiniens des prisons israéliennes

    En cette journée du 17 avril qui leur est consacrée, les prisonniers/ères palestiniens affrontent une menace supplémentaire avec l’apparition du risque de propagation du coronavirus (COVID-19) dans les prisons et les centres de détention israéliens. Alors qu’un appel a été lancé aux gouvernements du monde entier pour la libération des prisonniers/ères et notamment de ceux détenus en violation du droit international, les autorités d’occupation israéliennes n’ont pris aucune mesure dans cette direction, et n’ont pas adopter de mesures visant à atténuer la propagation du coronavirus derrière les barreaux. Au contraire, les arrestations et les détentions arbitraires de masse, au centre de la politique ’occupation militaire israélienne prolongée et des violations des droits de l’homme généralisées et systématiques à l’encontre du peuple palestinien, se poursuivent pendant la pandémie.

     

  • En el Día de los Prisioneros Palestinos, la sociedad civil pide la liberación urgente de los presos y presas palestinos en las cárceles israelíes

    Mientras conmemoramos otro año más el Día de los Prisioneros Palestinos, los presos, presas, detenidos y detenidas palestinos se enfrentan a una amenaza adicional con la propagación del coronavirus (COVID-19) en las prisiones y centros de detención israelíes. Mientras se está pidiendo a muchos gobiernos de todo el mundo la liberación de las personas presas y detenidas en contravención del derecho internacional, las autoridades de ocupación israelíes no han tomado ninguna medida para liberar los presos y presas palestinos ni para mitigar o prevenir adecuadamente el brote de la COVID-19 en las prisiones. Al contrario, las detenciones masivas y arbitrarias y los arrestos, características básicas de la ocupación militar prolongada de Israel y de las generalizadas y sistemáticas violaciones de Derechos Humanos contra el pueblo palestino, han continuado durante la pandemia.

     

  • Free Saudi Activists commemorate 2-Year anniversary of the Saudi government's arrest of women's rights defenders

    COALITION TO HOST A WEBINAR ON MAY 15 PROVIDING UPDATES ON PRISONERS, STATE OF WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND CAMPAIGN PROGRESS

     

  • G20 : des centaines d'organisations de la société civile s'engagent à rejeter le processus mené par l'Arabie saoudite

    بالعربية

    Plus de 220 organisations de la société civile du monde entier ont fait part de leurs préoccupations concernant le processus d'engagement de la société civile du G20 organisé par et en Arabie saoudite en 2020. Les organisations se sont engagées à ne pas participer au processus de cette année, connu sous le nom de Civil 20 ou "C20", le flux de réunions dédié à la société civile au sein du G20.

    Les organisations ont approuvé une déclaration, initialement publiée en janvier 2020, qui se lit en partie comme suit:

    "Au lieu d’engager une véritable réforme, le gouvernement saoudien cherche à camoufler son bilan désastreux en termes de droits humains en organisant de grands événements internationaux dans le pays. Cela inclut le G20 et, par l’intermédiaire d’une ONG avalisée par le gouvernement, le C20. En tant qu’organisations majeures de la société civile présentes dans la plupart des pays du globe – mais, fait notable, pas en Arabie saoudite – nous ne pouvons participer à un processus qui cherche à conférer une légitimité internationale à un État n’offrant quasiment aucune place à la société civile et ne tolérant pas les voix indépendantes."

    Delia Ferreira Rubio, présidente de Transparency International, a déclaré "La société civile offre au G20 des recommandations politiques d'experts indépendants pour promouvoir le développement durable et améliorer la vie de milliards de personnes. Le G20 doit s'engager sérieusement à garantir un engagement efficace de la société civile, où toutes les voix indépendantes ont la même valeur. Nous continuons à travailler avec nos partenaires pour trouver des moyens d'apporter cette expertise au G20, mais nous ne participerons pas à un processus qui vise à blanchir le bilan épouvantable de l'Arabie saoudite en matière de droits de l'homme et de société civile indépendante".

    Netsanet Belay, directrice de la recherche et du plaidoyer d'Amnesty International, a déclaré : " Il est grand temps que les autorités saoudiennes prennent des mesures significatives pour mettre fin aux arrestations arbitraires, à la torture et aux procès inéquitables, et pour mettre fin au recours généralisé à la peine de mort. Nous espérons que les dizaines de défenseurs des droits de l'homme et des droits des femmes derrière les barreaux - tels que Waleed Abu al-Khair, Loujain al-Hathloul, Raif Badawi, Samar Badawi et Naseema al-Sada - tireront profit de cet acte de solidarité de la part de tant d'organisations du monde entier qui ne sont pas prêtes à permettre que le bilan effroyable de l'Arabie saoudite en matière de droits de l'homme soit blanchi. Il serait encore mieux qu'elles soient libérées immédiatement et sans condition afin qu'elles puissent s'engager de manière significative avec leur gouvernement dans l'élaboration de lois et de politiques conformes aux droits de l'homme dans leur pays et à l'étranger - y compris en relation avec le G20".

    Lysa John, secrétaire générale de CIVICUS, a déclaré : "Les autorités saoudiennes ont rendu pratiquement impossible le fonctionnement des défenseurs des droits de l'homme et des organisations de la société civile. L'Arabie Saoudite ne tolère pas la liberté d'expression et des dizaines de défenseurs et d'activistes des droits de l'homme sont en prison ou en exil. Nous refusons de nous engager dans le C20 dirigé par l'Arabie Saoudite car nous pensons que les militants et les organisations indépendantes de la société civile ne pourront pas participer librement à ce processus".

     

    Liste des organisations soutenant la déclaration à la date du 20 mars 2020 :

    A Common Future

    Cameroun

    Association Catholique pour la Protection de l'Environnement au Burundi (ACAPE BURUNDI)

    Burundi

    Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR)

    Liban

    Action for Pastoralists Integrated Resilience

    Kenya

    Adilisha Child, Youth Development and Family Preservation

    Tanzanie

    Advance Center for Peace and Credibility International

    Nigeria

    Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD)

    Géorgie

    Africa Rise Foundation

    Zimbabwe

    African Youth Peer Review Committee (AYPRC)

    Liberia

    African Youth Union Commission

    Nigeria

    Association Aide aux Familles et Victimes des Migrations Clandestines (AFVMC)

    Cameroun

    Association pour l'Integration et le Developpement Durable au Burundi (AIDB Burundi)

    Burundi

    Alcondoms Cameroun

    Cameroun

    Alliance des Défenseurs des Droits Humains et de l'Environnement au Tchad

    Tchad

    ALQST

    Royaume-Uni

    AL-Shafaa Organisation

    Irak

    Amagugu International Heritage Center

    Zimbabwe

    Angels in the Field

    Inde

    Anqad Association for Development and Social Welfare

    Maroc

    Ark Wellness Hub Uganda

    Ouganda

    Action pour le Respect et la Protection de l'Environnement (ARPE)

    Cameroun

    Asociacion Alfalit Guatemala

    Guatemala

    Aspafrique-Jics

    Suisse

    Association Sauvons la vie, de l'eau potable pour tous (ASSAUVET)

    Cameroun

    Association de Lutte contre le Chomage et la Torture (ALUCHOTO)

    Burundi

    Association des Amis de la Nature

    Burundi

    Association For Promotion Sustainable Development

    Inde

    Association les Amis du Verbe

    Maroc

    Association of the Prodigy Youth for the Sustainable Development

    République Centrafricaine

    Association of Working Children and Youths

    Bénin

    Aware Girls

    Pakistan

    Bina Foundation

    Nigeria

    Bonabo United

    Cameroun

    BRIDGE Foundation

    Bangladesh

    Brother's Keeper

    Nigeria

    Bunjakko Modern Farm Limited

    Ouganda

    Bureau d'Informations, Formations, Échanges et Recherches pour le Développement (BIFERD)

    République démocratique du Congo

    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

    Egypte

    Calvin Ong'era

    Kenya

    Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

    Canada

    Canadian Council for International Co-operation 

    Canada

    Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

    Canada

    Center for Constitutional Governance

    Etats-Unis

    Center for Development of Civil Society

    Arménie

    Centre for Law and Democracy

    Canada

    Centre de Recherche sur l'Anticorruption

    République démocratique du Congo

    Centre for Legal Support

    Gambie

    Centre for Media and Development Communication (CEMEDEC)

    Nigeria

    Centre for Social Policy Develoment

    Pakistan

    Community Initiative for Social Empowerment (CISE)

    Malawi

    Children on the Edge 

    Royaume-Uni

    Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic 

    Canada

    Civil Society in Development (CISU)

    Danemark

    Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG)

    Kenya

    Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution

    Nigeria

    Coalition of Youth Organizations (SEGA)

    Macédoine

    Collectif de Développement et Respect de la Dignité Humaine (CODDHU)

    République démocratique du Congo

    CODENET

    Cameroun

    Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

    Cambodge

    Commonwealth Society of Nigeria

    Nigeria

    Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia

    Zambie

    Community Youth Initiatives Liberia Inc

    Liberia

    Consultando Soluciones REcosrec

    Venezuela

    Coalition d'organisations volontaires et solidaires pour des actions de développement communautaire (COSAD)

    Bénin

    Corruption Watch 

    Afrique du Sud

    Curtis Business

    République démocratique du Congo

    Democracy Without Borders

    Allemagne

    Denis Miki Foundation

    Cameroun

    Dhankuta Municipality

    Népal

    Diálogo de Mujeres por la Democracia

    Nicaragua

    Dominion Empowerment Solutions

    Kenya

    Dytech - OutGrow It

    Zambie

    Edutech for Africa

    Nigeria

    EnlacesXSustentabilidad

    El Salvador

    Enoch Adeyemi Foundation

    Nigeria

    Equality Now

    Etats-Unis

    Fédération Internationale des Entrepreneurs et ou Etudiants Africains d'Affaires (FIEAA)

    Guinée

    Front Commun pour la Protection de l'Environnement et des Espaces Protégés (FCPEEP)

    République démocratique du Congo

    Fellowship for Community Enlightenment (FCE)

    Ouganda

    Federación Nacional de Personerías de Colombia (FENALPER)

    Colombie

    FINESTE

    Haïti

    Focus Youth Forum (FYF)

    Ouganda

    Freedom Now

    Etats-Unis

    Fund Our Future

    Afrique du Sud

    Fundación Integral para el Desarrollo Regional (FINDER)

    El Salvador

    Fundación Selva Sagrada

    Equateur

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS)

    Argentine

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana

    Panama 

    Futur Radieux

    Togo

    Gatef Organization

    Egypte

    Geospatial Organization

    Tanzanie

    Germany Zimbabwe Forum

    Allemagne

    Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development

    Ghana

    Give Hope Uganda

    Ouganda

    Global Network for Sustainable Development

    Nigeria

    Global Witness

    Royaume-Uno

    Global Shapers Castries Hub

    Saine-Lucie

    Globalpeace Chain

    Kenya

    Gram Bharati Samiti

    Inde

    Gulf Centre for Human Rights

    Moyen-Orient

    Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA)

    Zimbabwe

    HAKI Africa

    Kenya

    Hands of External Love Program

    Liberia

    Hannibal Entertainment Visual Studio Production

    Nigeria

    Hitesh BHATT

    Inde

    HOPE Worldwide-Pakistan

    Nouvelle-Zélande

    Human Rights First 

    International

    Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

    Canada

    Human Rights Watch

    Etats-Unis

    Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD)

    Uruguay

    India Media Centre

    Inde

    Individual

    Pakistan

    Initiative de Gestion Civile des Crises (IGC)

    Burundi

    Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution

    Nigeria

    Instituto para el Futuro Común Amerindio (IFCA)

    Honduras

    International Center for Accelerated Development

    Nigeria

    International Development Opportunity Initiative

    Ghana

    International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA Nigeria

    Nigeria

    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

    Suisse

    International Student Environmental Coalition

    Cameroun

    Interregional Public Charitable Organization of Assistance to Persons with Disabilities Sail of Hope

    Russie

    Jeunesse Assistance

    Niger

    Justice  Access Point

    Ouganda

    Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons (JIDOP)

    Nigeria

    JVBC

    Etats-Unis

    Key populations Uganda

    Ouganda

    Konstitusiya Arasdırmalar Fondu

    Azerbaïdjan

    Vulnerable People's Development Organization (KOTHOWAIN)

    Bangladesh

    Kurdistan Without Genocide

    Irak

    Kuza Livelihood Improovement Projects

    Kenya

    Laxman Belbase - Individual

    Népal

    The Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)

    Botswana

    Leila Oguntayo

    Tunisie

    Liberia Media Center

    Liberia

    Local Communities Development Initiative

    Nigeria

    Makerere University Uganda

    Ouganda

    Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition

    Malawi

    Mama leah Fondation

    Kenya

    Moabite Indigenous Nation Trust

    Etats-Unis

    Morya Samajik Pratishthan

    Inde

    Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM)

    Cameroun

    Mzimba Youth Organization

    Malawi

    Narayana

    Inde

    National Sudanese Women Association

    Soudan

    Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations

    Estonie

    New Owerri Youth Organisation

    Nigeria

    Nobel Women's Initiative

    Canada

    One More Salary

    Tanzanie

    ONG Les Batisseurs

    Etats-Unis

    Organization of the Justice Campaign

    Irak

    ORUD

    République démocratique du Congo

    Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network

    Fidji

    Pakistan NGOs Forum

    Pakistan

    Palestinian Center for Communication and Development Strategies

    Palestine

    Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA)

    Palestine

    Parent-Child Intervention Centre

    Nigeria

    Participatory Research Action Network (PRAN)

    Bangladesh

    Peaceful and Active Centre for Humanity (PEACH)

    Pakistan

    PEN International

    Royaume-Uni

    Primadent Initiative for Oral Health

    Nigeria

    Public Organization Youth House

    Tadjikistan

    Rainbow Pride Foundation

    Fidji

    Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko

    République démocratique du Congo

    Real Agenda For Youth Transformation

    Zimbabwe

    Red Global de Acción Juvenil (GYAN)

    Mexique

    Richard Bennett

    Royaume-Uni

    Rural Initiatives in Sustainability & Empowerment (RISE)

    Pakistan

    Rideau Institute

    Canada

    Rising Generation for Youth Organization

    Nigeria

    Réseau Nigérien des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (RNDDH)

    Niger

    Role Model Zambia

    Zambie

    Sauti ya Haki Tanzania

    Tanzanie

    Self

    Norvège

    Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care

    Zimbabwe

    Sierra Leone School Green Clubs

    Sierra Leone

    Social Watch Benin

    Bénin

    Society for Development and Research

    Pakistan

    Society for Rural Women and Youth Development

    Nigeria

    South Sudan Community Change Agency

    Sud Soudan

    Street Youth Connection Sierra Leone (SYC-SL)

    Sierra Leone

    Success Capital Organisation

    Botswana

    Sudda Changing Lives Foundation

    Ghana

    Synergy of experts on environment and sustainable development

    Burkina Faso

    TATU Project

    Tanzanie

    Human Rights Defenders Network (ACPDH)

    Burundi

    The Rock Shalom

    Kenya

    The Social Science Centre for African Development (KUTAFITI)

    République démocratique du Congo

    The Young Republic

    Suède

    The Tax Justice Network 

    Royaume-Uni

    The Youth Voice of SA

    Afrique du Sud

    Tochukwu Anyadike

    Nigeria

    Transparency International Australia

    Australie

    Transparency International Bangladesh

    Bangladesh

    Transparencia por Colombia

    Colombie

    Transparency International EU

    Belgique

    Transparency International Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan

    Transparency International Uganda 

    Ouganda

    Transparency International Ukraine

    Ukraine

    Transparency International Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Union des Frères pour Alternatif du Developpement Intégré (UFADI)

    Haïti

    Uganda Youth Guidance and Development Association

    Ouganda

    Ugonma Foundation

    Nigeria

    Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative

    Nigeria

    Union for the Promotion, Defense of Human Rights and the Environment-UPDDHE.GL

    République démocratique du Congo

    Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisation

    Vanuatu

    VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM - The World is One Family

    Inde

    Veille Citoyenne

    Togo

    Vijana Hope

    République démocratique du Congo

    Volunteers Hub Liberia

    Liberia

    Volunteers Welfare for Community Based Care of Zambia (VOWAZA)

    Zambie

    WDC Somalia

    Somalie

    We Lead Intergrated Foundation

    Cameroun

    Women Empowerment Group (WEG)

    Kenya

    Women United to Fight Sexual Violence in Liberia (WOUFSVIL)

    Liberia

    Women's March Global

    Etats-Unis

    World Youth Union SL

    Sierra Leone

    WorldEat

    Ghana

    WORLDLITE

    Cote D'Ivoire

    Yole Africa

    République démocratique du Congo

    Young League Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Youth Advocates for Change

    Zambie

    Youth For Change

    Nigeria

    Youth for Development Network

    Liberia

    Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)

    Népal

    Youth for Future 2006

    Roumanie

    Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana

    Ghana

    Youth Leadership Initiative for Social Justice

    Nigeria

    YOUTHAID

    Liberia

    Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society

    Zambie

    Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition

    Zimbabwe

     

  • G20: Cientos de organizaciones de la sociedad civil se comprometen a evitar el proceso liderado por Arabia Saudita

    Más de 220 organizaciones de la sociedad civil de todo el mundo han expresado su preocupación por el proceso de participación de la sociedad civil en el G20 2020, que estará auspiciado por Arabia Saudí y tendrá lugar allí. Las organizaciones se han comprometido a no participar en el proceso de este año, conocido como "Civil 20" o "C20", el canal de reuniones dedicadas a la sociedad civil dentro del G20. 

    Las organizaciones adhirieron a un comunicado, originalmente publicado en Enero de 2020, que dice en una  parte:

    “ En vez de una reforma real, lo que intenta hacer el gobierno saudí es blanquear su terrible historial en materia de derechos humanos con la celebración de grandes eventos internacionales en el país. Entre ellos figuran el G-20 y, por medio de una ONG autorizada por el gobierno, el C-20. Como organizaciones de la sociedad civil presentes en la mayoría de los países del mundo (pero en absoluto en Arabia Saudí), no podemos participar en un proceso con el que se intenta dar legitimidad internacional a un Estado donde la sociedad civil no tiene prácticamente cabida ni se toleran sus voces independientes. “

    Delia Ferreira Rubio, Presidente de Transparencia Internacional afirmó: “La sociedad civil ofrece al G20 recomendaciones  independientes y específicas para promover el desarrollo sostenible y mejorar la vida de miles de millones de personas. El G20 debe ser serio en cuanto a la participación de sociedad civil en el proceso y asegurar que todas las voces independientes tengan la misma importancia. Seguimos trabajando con nuestros colegas para encontrar formas de aportar esta experiencia al G20, pero no participaremos en un proceso que pretende lavar el espantoso historial de Arabia Saudita en materia de derechos humanos y de sociedad civil independiente.”

    Netsanet Belay, Director de Investigación e Incidencia en Amnistía Internacional sostuvo: “Ya es hora de que las autoridades de Arabia Saudita tomen medidas significativas para poner fin a las detenciones arbitrarias, la tortura y los juicios injustos, y para poner fin a su extendida aplicación de la pena de muerte. Esperamos que las docenas de defensores y defensoras de los derechos humanos y  activistas por los derechos de la mujer que se encuentran entre rejas, tales como Waleed Abu al-Khair, Loujain al-Hathloul, Raif Badawi, Samar Badawi and Naseema al-Sada, ganen fuerza con este acto de solidaridad de tantas organizaciones de la sociedad civil de todo el mundo que no están dispuestas a permitir que se encubra el espantoso historial de derechos humanos del país. Incluso mejor sería su liberación inmediata e incondicional para que puedan colaborar de manera significativa con su gobierno en la elaboración de leyes y políticas que respeten los derechos humanos en el país y en el extranjero, incluso en relación con el G20".

    Lysa John, Secretaria General de CIVICUS, declaró: “Las autoridades de Arabia Saudita han hecho prácticamente imposible que los defensores y las defensoras de los derechos humanos y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil puedan operar. Arabia Saudita no tolera la libertad de expresión y decenas de defensores y defensoras  de los derechos humanos y activistas están en la cárcel o en el exilio. Nos negamos a participar en el C20 dirigido por Arabia Saudita porque creemos que los activistas y las organizaciones independientes de la sociedad civil no podrán participar libremente en este proceso.”  

    Listado de organizaciones que adhirieron al comunicado al 20 de Marzo de 2020:

     

    A Common Future

    Cameroon

    Association Catholique pour la Protection de l'Environnement au Burundi (ACAPE BURUNDI)

    Burundi

    Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR)

    Lebanon

    Action for Pastoralists Integrated Resilience

    Kenya

    Adilisha Child, Youth Development and Family Preservation

    Tanzania

    Advance Center for Peace and Credibility International

    Nigeria

    Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD)

    Georgia

    Africa Rise Foundation

    Zimbabwe

    African Youth Peer Review Committee (AYPRC)

    Liberia

    African Youth Union Commission

    Nigeria

    Association Aide aux Familles et Victimes des Migrations Clandestines (AFVMC)

    Cameroon

    Association pour l'Integration et le Developpement Durable au Burundi (AIDB Burundi)

    Burundi

    Alcondoms Cameroun

    Cameroon

    Alliance des Défenseurs des Droits Humains et de l'Environnement au Tchad

    Chad

    ALQST

    UK

    AL-Shafaa Organisation

    Iraq

    Amagugu International Heritage Center

    Zimbabwe

    Angels in the Field

    India

    Anqad Association for Development and Social Welfare

    Morocco

    Ark Wellness Hub Uganda

    Uganda

    Action pour le Respect et la Protection de l'Environnement (ARPE)

    Cameroon

    Asociacion Alfalit Guatemala

    Guatemala

    Aspafrique-Jics

    Switzerland

    Association Sauvons la vie, de l'eau potable pour tous (ASSAUVET)

    Cameroon

    Association de Lutte contre le Chomage et la Torture (ALUCHOTO)

    Burundi

    Association des Amis de la Nature

    Burundi

    Association For Promotion Sustainable Development

    India

    Association les Amis du Verbe

    Morocco

    Association of the Prodigy Youth for the Sustainable Development

    Central African Republic

    Association of Working Children and Youths

    Benin

    Aware Girls

    Pakistan

    Bina Foundation

    Nigeria

    Bonabo United

    Cameroon

    BRIDGE Foundation

    Bangladesh

    Brother's Keeper

    Nigeria

    Bunjakko Modern Farm Limited

    Uganda

    Bureau d'Informations, Formations, Échanges et Recherches pour le Développement (BIFERD)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

    Egypt

    Calvin Ong'era

    Kenya

    Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

    Canada

    Canadian Council for International Co-operation 

    Canada

    Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

    Canada

    Center for Constitutional Governance

    USA

    Center for Development of Civil Society

    Armenia

    Centre for Law and Democracy

    Canada

    Centre de Recherche sur l'Anticorruption

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Centre for Legal Support

    Gambia

    Centre for Media and Development Communication (CEMEDEC)

    Nigeria

    Centre for Social Policy Develoment

    Pakistan

    Community Initiative for Social Empowerment (CISE)

    Malawi

    Children on the Edge 

    UK

    Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic 

    Canada

    Civil Society in Development (CISU)

    Denmark

    Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG)

    Kenya

    Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution

    Nigeria

    Coalition of Youth Organizations (SEGA)

    Macedonia

    Collectif de Développement et Respect de la Dignité Humaine (CODDHU)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    CODENET

    Cameroon

    Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

    Cambodia

    Commonwealth Society of Nigeria

    Nigeria

    Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia

    Zambia

    Community Youth Initiatives Liberia Inc

    Liberia

    Consultando Soluciones REcosrec

    Venezuela

    Coalition d'organisations volontaires et solidaires pour des actions de développement communautaire (COSAD)

    Benin

    Corruption Watch 

    South Africa 

    Curtis Business

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Democracy Without Borders

    Germany

    Denis Miki Foundation

    Cameroon

    Dhankuta Municipality

    Nepal

    Diálogo de Mujeres por la Democracia

    Nicaragua

    Dominion Empowerment Solutions

    Kenya

    Dytech - OutGrow It

    Zambia

    Edutech for Africa

    Nigeria

    EnlacesXSustentabilidad

    El Salvador

    Enoch Adeyemi Foundation

    Nigeria

    Equality Now

    USA

    Fédération Internationale des Entrepreneurs et ou Etudiants Africains d'Affaires (FIEAA)

    Guinea

    Front Commun pour la Protection de l'Environnement et des Espaces Protégés (FCPEEP)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Fellowship for Community Enlightenment (FCE)

    Uganda

    Federación Nacional de Personerías de Colombia (FENALPER)

    Colombia

    FINESTE

    Haiti

    Focus Youth Forum (FYF)

    Uganda

    Freedom Now

    USA

    Fund Our Future

    South Africa

    Fundación Integral para el Desarrollo Regional (FINDER)

    El Salvador

    Fundación Selva Sagrada

    Ecuador

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS)

    Argentina

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana

    Panama 

    Futur Radieux

    Togo

    Gatef Organization

    Egypt

    Geospatial Organization

    Tanzania

    Germany Zimbabwe Forum

    Germany

    Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development

    Ghana

    Give Hope Uganda

    Uganda

    Global Network for Sustainable Development

    Nigeria

    Global Witness

    UK

    Global Shapers Castries Hub

    Saint Lucia

    Globalpeace Chain

    Kenya

    Gram Bharati Samiti

    India

    Gulf Centre for Human Rights

    Middle East

    Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA)

    Zimbabwe

    HAKI Africa

    Kenya

    Hands of External Love Program

    Liberia

    Hannibal Entertainment Visual Studio Production

    Nigeria

    Hitesh BHATT

    India

    HOPE Worldwide-Pakistan

    New Zealand

    Human Rights First 

    International

    Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

    Canada

    Human Rights Watch

    USA

    Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD)

    Uruguay

    India Media Centre

    India

    Individual

    Pakistan

    Initiative de Gestion Civile des Crises (IGC)

    Burundi

    Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution

    Nigeria

    Instituto para el Futuro Común Amerindio (IFCA)

    Honduras

    International Center for Accelerated Development

    Nigeria

    International Development Opportunity Initiative

    Ghana

    International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA Nigeria

    Nigeria

    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

    Switzerland

    International Student Environmental Coalition

    Cameroon

    Interregional Public Charitable Organization of Assistance to Persons with Disabilities Sail of Hope

    Russia

    Jeunesse Assistance

    Niger

    Justice  Access Point

    Uganda

    Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons (JIDOP)

    Nigeria

    JVBC

    United States of America

    Key populations Uganda

    Uganda

    Konstitusiya Arasdırmalar Fondu

    Azerbaijan

    Vulnerable People's Development Organization (KOTHOWAIN)

    Bangladesh

    Kurdistan Without Genocide

    Iraq

    Kuza Livelihood Improovement Projects

    Kenya

    Laxman Belbase - Individual

    Nepal

    The Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)

    Botswana

    Leila Oguntayo

    Tunisia

    Liberia Media Center

    Liberia

    Local Communities Development Initiative

    Nigeria

    Makerere University Uganda

    Uganda

    Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition

    Malawi

    Mama leah Fondation

    Kenya

    Moabite Indigenous Nation Trust

    United States of America

    Morya Samajik Pratishthan

    India

    Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM)

    Cameroon

    Mzimba Youth Organization

    Malawi

    Narayana

    India

    National Sudanese Women Association

    Sudan

    Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations

    Estonia

    New Owerri Youth Organisation

    Nigeria

    Nobel Women's Initiative

    Canada

    One More Salary

    Tanzania

    ONG Les Batisseurs

    United States of America

    Organization of the Justice Campaign

    Iraq

    ORUD

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network

    Fiji

    Pakistan NGOs Forum

    Pakistan

    Palestinian Center for Communication and Development Strategies

    Palestine

    Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA)

    Palestine

    Parent-Child Intervention Centre

    Nigeria

    Participatory Research Action Network (PRAN)

    Bangladesh

    Peaceful and Active Centre for Humanity (PEACH)

    Pakistan

    PEN International

    UK

    Primadent Initiative for Oral Health

    Nigeria

    Public Organization Youth House

    Tajikistan

    Rainbow Pride Foundation

    Fiji

    Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Real Agenda For Youth Transformation

    Zimbabwe

    Red Global de Acción Juvenil (GYAN)

    Mexico

    Richard Bennett

    United Kingdom

    Rural Initiatives in Sustainability & Empowerment (RISE)

    Pakistan

    Rideau Institute

    Canada

    Rising Generation for Youth Organization

    Nigeria

    Réseau Nigérien des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (RNDDH)

    Niger

    Role Model Zambia

    Zambia

    Sauti ya Haki Tanzania

    Tanzania

    Self

    Norway

    Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care

    Zimbabwe

    Sierra Leone School Green Clubs

    Sierra Leone

    Social Watch Benin

    Benin

    Society for Development and Research

    Pakistan

    Society for Rural Women and Youth Development

    Nigeria

    South Sudan Community Change Agency

    South Sudan

    Street Youth Connection Sierra Leone (SYC-SL)

    Sierra Leone

    Success Capital Organisation

    Botswana

    Sudda Changing Lives Foundation

    Ghana

    Synergy of experts on environment and sustainable development

    Burkina Faso

    TATU Project

    Tanzania

    Human Rights Defenders Network (ACPDH)

    Burundi

    The Rock Shalom

    Kenya

    The Social Science Centre for African Development (KUTAFITI)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    The Young Republic

    Sweden

    The Tax Justice Network 

    UK

    The Youth Voice of SA

    South Africa

    Tochukwu Anyadike

    Nigeria

    Transparency International Australia

    Australia

    Transparency International Bangladesh

    Bangladesh

    Transparencia por Colombia

    Colombia

    Transparency International EU

    Belgium

    Transparency International Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan

    Transparency International Uganda 

    Uganda

    Transparency International Ukraine

    Ukraine

    Transparency International Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Union des Frères pour Alternatif du Developpement Intégré (UFADI)

    Haiti

    Uganda Youth Guidance and Development Association

    Uganda

    Ugonma Foundation

    Nigeria

    Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative

    Nigeria

    Union for the Promotion, Defense of Human Rights and the Environment-UPDDHE.GL

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisation

    Vanuatu

    VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM - The World is One Family

    India

    Veille Citoyenne

    Togo

    Vijana Hope

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Volunteers Hub Liberia

    Liberia

    Volunteers Welfare for Community Based Care of Zambia (VOWAZA)

    Zambia

    WDC Somalia

    Somalia

    We Lead Intergrated Foundation

    Cameroon

    Women Empowerment Group (WEG)

    Kenya

    Women United to Fight Sexual Violence in Liberia (WOUFSVIL)

    Liberia

    Women's March Global

    United States of America

    World Youth Union SL

    Sierra Leone

    WorldEat

    Ghana

    WORLDLITE

    Cote D'Ivoire

    Yole Africa

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Young League Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Youth Advocates for Change

    Zambia

    Youth For Change

    Nigeria

    Youth for Development Network

    Liberia

    Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)

    Nepal

    Youth for Future 2006

    Romania

    Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana

    Ghana

    Youth Leadership Initiative for Social Justice

    Nigeria

    YOUTHAID

    Liberia

    Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society

    Zambia

    Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition

    Zimbabwe

     

  • G20: Hundreds of civil society organisations pledge to avoid Saudi Arabia-led process

    بالعربية

    More than 220 civil society organizations from around the world have  voiced their concerns over the G20 civil society engagement process hosted by and in Saudi Arabia in 2020. The organizations have pledged not to participate in this year’s process, known as the Civil 20 or ‘C20’, the dedicated stream of meetings for civil society within the G20.

    The organisations endorsed a statement, originally published in January 2020, that reads in part:

    “Instead of real reform, the Saudi government has been trying to whitewash its dire human rights record by holding major international events in the country. This includes the G20 and – through a government-authorized NGO – the C20. As leading civil society organisations present in most countries around the world (but notably not Saudi Arabia), we cannot participate in a process that seeks to give international legitimacy to a state that provides virtually no space for civil society, and where independent civil society voices are not tolerated.”

    Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, said: “Civil society offers the G20 independent, expert policy recommendations to promote sustainable development and improve the lives of billions of people. The G20 must be serious about ensuring an effective civil society engagement where all independent voices have equal standing. We continue to work with our partners to find ways of bringing this expertise to the G20, but will not participate in a process that seeks to launder Saudi Arabia’s appalling record on human rights and independent civil society.”

    Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Director of Research and Advocacy, said: “It’s high time for the Saudi Arabian authorities to take meaningful steps to end arbitrary arrests, torture, and unfair trials, and to end its widespread resort to the death penalty. We hope that the dozens of human rights defenders and women’s rights activists behind bars - such as Waleed Abu al-Khair, Loujain al-Hathloul, Raif Badawi, Samar Badawi and Naseema al-Sada - gain strength from this act of solidarity by so many organizations worldwide who are not prepared to allow Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record to be whitewashed. Even better would be their immediate and unconditional release so that they can engage meaningfully with their government on developing human rights compliant laws and policies at home and abroad – including in relation to the G20”.

    Lysa John, Secretary-General, CIVICUS, stated “The Saudi authorities have made it virtually impossible for human rights defenders and civil society organisations to operate. Saudi Arabia does not tolerate freedom of speech and scores of human rights defenders and activists are in jail or exile. We refuse to engage in the Saudi-led C20 because we believe that activists and independent civil society organisations will not be able to freely participate in this process.”  

     

    List of organizations endorsing the statement as of 20th March 2020:

    A Common Future

    Cameroon

    Association Catholique pour la Protection de l'Environnement au Burundi (ACAPE BURUNDI)

    Burundi

    Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR)

    Lebanon

    Action for Pastoralists Integrated Resilience

    Kenya

    Adilisha Child, Youth Development and Family Preservation

    Tanzania

    Advance Center for Peace and Credibility International

    Nigeria

    Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD)

    Georgia

    Africa Rise Foundation

    Zimbabwe

    African Youth Peer Review Committee (AYPRC)

    Liberia

    African Youth Union Commission

    Nigeria

    Association Aide aux Familles et Victimes des Migrations Clandestines (AFVMC)

    Cameroon

    Association pour l'Integration et le Developpement Durable au Burundi (AIDB Burundi)

    Burundi

    Alcondoms Cameroun

    Cameroon

    Alliance des Défenseurs des Droits Humains et de l'Environnement au Tchad

    Chad

    ALQST

    UK

    AL-Shafaa Organisation

    Iraq

    Amagugu International Heritage Center

    Zimbabwe

    Angels in the Field

    India

    Anqad Association for Development and Social Welfare

    Morocco

    Ark Wellness Hub Uganda

    Uganda

    Action pour le Respect et la Protection de l'Environnement (ARPE)

    Cameroon

    Asociacion Alfalit Guatemala

    Guatemala

    Aspafrique-Jics

    Switzerland

    Association Sauvons la vie, de l'eau potable pour tous (ASSAUVET)

    Cameroon

    Association de Lutte contre le Chomage et la Torture (ALUCHOTO)

    Burundi

    Association des Amis de la Nature

    Burundi

    Association For Promotion Sustainable Development

    India

    Association les Amis du Verbe

    Morocco

    Association of the Prodigy Youth for the Sustainable Development

    Central African Republic

    Association of Working Children and Youths

    Benin

    Aware Girls

    Pakistan

    Bina Foundation

    Nigeria

    Bonabo United

    Cameroon

    BRIDGE Foundation

    Bangladesh

    Brother's Keeper

    Nigeria

    Bunjakko Modern Farm Limited

    Uganda

    Bureau d'Informations, Formations, Échanges et Recherches pour le Développement (BIFERD)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

    Egypt

    Calvin Ong'era

    Kenya

    Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

    Canada

    Canadian Council for International Co-operation 

    Canada

    Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

    Canada

    Center for Constitutional Governance

    USA

    Center for Development of Civil Society

    Armenia

    Centre for Law and Democracy

    Canada

    Centre de Recherche sur l'Anticorruption

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Centre for Legal Support

    Gambia

    Centre for Media and Development Communication (CEMEDEC)

    Nigeria

    Centre for Social Policy Develoment

    Pakistan

    Community Initiative for Social Empowerment (CISE)

    Malawi

    Children on the Edge 

    UK

    Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic 

    Canada

    Civil Society in Development (CISU)

    Denmark

    Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG)

    Kenya

    Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution

    Nigeria

    Coalition of Youth Organizations (SEGA)

    Macedonia

    Collectif de Développement et Respect de la Dignité Humaine (CODDHU)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    CODENET

    Cameroon

    Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

    Cambodia

    Commonwealth Society of Nigeria

    Nigeria

    Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia

    Zambia

    Community Youth Initiatives Liberia Inc

    Liberia

    Consultando Soluciones REcosrec

    Venezuela

    Coalition d'organisations volontaires et solidaires pour des actions de développement communautaire (COSAD)

    Benin

    Corruption Watch 

    South Africa 

    Curtis Business

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Democracy Without Borders

    Germany

    Denis Miki Foundation

    Cameroon

    Dhankuta Municipality

    Nepal

    Diálogo de Mujeres por la Democracia

    Nicaragua

    Dominion Empowerment Solutions

    Kenya

    Dytech - OutGrow It

    Zambia

    Edutech for Africa

    Nigeria

    EnlacesXSustentabilidad

    El Salvador

    Enoch Adeyemi Foundation

    Nigeria

    Equality Now

    USA

    Fédération Internationale des Entrepreneurs et ou Etudiants Africains d'Affaires (FIEAA)

    Guinea

    Front Commun pour la Protection de l'Environnement et des Espaces Protégés (FCPEEP)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Fellowship for Community Enlightenment (FCE)

    Uganda

    Federación Nacional de Personerías de Colombia (FENALPER)

    Colombia

    FINESTE

    Haiti

    Focus Youth Forum (FYF)

    Uganda

    Freedom Now

    USA

    Fund Our Future

    South Africa

    Fundación Integral para el Desarrollo Regional (FINDER)

    El Salvador

    Fundación Selva Sagrada

    Ecuador

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS)

    Argentina

    Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana

    Panama 

    Futur Radieux

    Togo

    Gatef Organization

    Egypt

    Geospatial Organization

    Tanzania

    Germany Zimbabwe Forum

    Germany

    Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development

    Ghana

    Give Hope Uganda

    Uganda

    Global Network for Sustainable Development

    Nigeria

    Global Witness

    UK

    Global Shapers Castries Hub

    Saint Lucia

    Globalpeace Chain

    Kenya

    Gram Bharati Samiti

    India

    Gulf Centre for Human Rights

    Middle East

    Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA)

    Zimbabwe

    HAKI Africa

    Kenya

    Hands of External Love Program

    Liberia

    Hannibal Entertainment Visual Studio Production

    Nigeria

    Hitesh BHATT

    India

    HOPE Worldwide-Pakistan

    New Zealand

    Human Rights First 

    International

    Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

    Canada

    Human Rights Watch

    USA

    Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD)

    Uruguay

    India Media Centre

    India

    Individual

    Pakistan

    Initiative de Gestion Civile des Crises (IGC)

    Burundi

    Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution

    Nigeria

    Instituto para el Futuro Común Amerindio (IFCA)

    Honduras

    International Center for Accelerated Development

    Nigeria

    International Development Opportunity Initiative

    Ghana

    International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA Nigeria

    Nigeria

    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

    Switzerland

    International Student Environmental Coalition

    Cameroon

    Interregional Public Charitable Organization of Assistance to Persons with Disabilities Sail of Hope

    Russia

    Jeunesse Assistance

    Niger

    Justice  Access Point

    Uganda

    Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons (JIDOP)

    Nigeria

    JVBC

    United States of America

    Key populations Uganda

    Uganda

    Konstitusiya Arasdırmalar Fondu

    Azerbaijan

    Vulnerable People's Development Organization (KOTHOWAIN)

    Bangladesh

    Kurdistan Without Genocide

    Iraq

    Kuza Livelihood Improovement Projects

    Kenya

    Laxman Belbase - Individual

    Nepal

    The Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)

    Botswana

    Leila Oguntayo

    Tunisia

    Liberia Media Center

    Liberia

    Local Communities Development Initiative

    Nigeria

    Makerere University Uganda

    Uganda

    Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition

    Malawi

    Mama leah Fondation

    Kenya

    Moabite Indigenous Nation Trust

    United States of America

    Morya Samajik Pratishthan

    India

    Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM)

    Cameroon

    Mzimba Youth Organization

    Malawi

    Narayana

    India

    National Sudanese Women Association

    Sudan

    Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations

    Estonia

    New Owerri Youth Organisation

    Nigeria

    Nobel Women's Initiative

    Canada

    One More Salary

    Tanzania

    ONG Les Batisseurs

    United States of America

    Organization of the Justice Campaign

    Iraq

    ORUD

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network

    Fiji

    Pakistan NGOs Forum

    Pakistan

    Palestinian Center for Communication and Development Strategies

    Palestine

    Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA)

    Palestine

    Parent-Child Intervention Centre

    Nigeria

    Participatory Research Action Network (PRAN)

    Bangladesh

    Peaceful and Active Centre for Humanity (PEACH)

    Pakistan

    PEN International

    UK

    Primadent Initiative for Oral Health

    Nigeria

    Public Organization Youth House

    Tajikistan

    Rainbow Pride Foundation

    Fiji

    Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Real Agenda For Youth Transformation

    Zimbabwe

    Red Global de Acción Juvenil (GYAN)

    Mexico

    Richard Bennett

    United Kingdom

    Rural Initiatives in Sustainability & Empowerment (RISE)

    Pakistan

    Rideau Institute

    Canada

    Rising Generation for Youth Organization

    Nigeria

    Réseau Nigérien des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (RNDDH)

    Niger

    Role Model Zambia

    Zambia

    Sauti ya Haki Tanzania

    Tanzania

    Self

    Norway

    Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care

    Zimbabwe

    Sierra Leone School Green Clubs

    Sierra Leone

    Social Watch Benin

    Benin

    Society for Development and Research

    Pakistan

    Society for Rural Women and Youth Development

    Nigeria

    South Sudan Community Change Agency

    South Sudan

    Street Youth Connection Sierra Leone (SYC-SL)

    Sierra Leone

    Success Capital Organisation

    Botswana

    Sudda Changing Lives Foundation

    Ghana

    Synergy of experts on environment and sustainable development

    Burkina Faso

    TATU Project

    Tanzania

    Human Rights Defenders Network (ACPDH)

    Burundi

    The Rock Shalom

    Kenya

    The Social Science Centre for African Development (KUTAFITI)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    The Young Republic

    Sweden

    The Tax Justice Network 

    UK

    The Youth Voice of SA

    South Africa

    Tochukwu Anyadike

    Nigeria

    Transparency International Australia

    Australia

    Transparency International Bangladesh

    Bangladesh

    Transparencia por Colombia

    Colombia

    Transparency International EU

    Belgium

    Transparency International Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan

    Transparency International Uganda 

    Uganda

    Transparency International Ukraine

    Ukraine

    Transparency International Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Union des Frères pour Alternatif du Developpement Intégré (UFADI)

    Haiti

    Uganda Youth Guidance and Development Association

    Uganda

    Ugonma Foundation

    Nigeria

    Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative

    Nigeria

    Union for the Promotion, Defense of Human Rights and the Environment-UPDDHE.GL

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisation

    Vanuatu

    VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM - The World is One Family

    India

    Veille Citoyenne

    Togo

    Vijana Hope

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Volunteers Hub Liberia

    Liberia

    Volunteers Welfare for Community Based Care of Zambia (VOWAZA)

    Zambia

    WDC Somalia

    Somalia

    We Lead Intergrated Foundation

    Cameroon

    Women Empowerment Group (WEG)

    Kenya

    Women United to Fight Sexual Violence in Liberia (WOUFSVIL)

    Liberia

    Women's March Global

    United States of America

    World Youth Union SL

    Sierra Leone

    WorldEat

    Ghana

    WORLDLITE

    Cote D'Ivoire

    Yole Africa

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Young League Pakistan

    Pakistan

    Youth Advocates for Change

    Zambia

    Youth For Change

    Nigeria

    Youth for Development Network

    Liberia

    Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)

    Nepal

    Youth for Future 2006

    Romania

    Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana

    Ghana

    Youth Leadership Initiative for Social Justice

    Nigeria

    YOUTHAID

    Liberia

    Zambian Governance Foundation for Civil Society

    Zambia

    Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition

    Zimbabwe

     

  • Here’s what we are achieving through our COVID-19 efforts

    Secretary General's Update

    lysajohn

    Dear CIVICUS members and allies,

    This has been a particularly tumultuous period for both civil society and the wider world. While the global emergency unleashed by the pandemic makes it difficult to think back to calmer times, this update includes some wider processes relevant to our strategy that have moved forward in the past few months, and a summary of some immediate outcomes that we are achieving through our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    What are our COVID-19 efforts achieving?

    As with most As with most other agencies across the world, the focus of our efforts has been to ensure a meaningful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our initiatives have accordingly been organised around: (i) Staff safety and support (ii) Coordination with members, partners and donors (iii) Advocacy on civic space and human rights priorities (iv) Acting with others to address wider systemic issues.

    Key developments in this regard include:

    • An internal ‘COVID-19 Response Team’ has worked together from the early days of March to ensure continuity of work and context-relevant support systems for staff of CIVICUS. Outcomes of this effort include equipping colleagues to work remotely, moving planned engagements to virtual spaces, negotiating grant deliverables and timelines with key donors and drawing on intelligence from members and peers on responses to a rapidly changing situation. In line with the continued health and economic implications of the pandemic, we have taken steps towards the implementation of the ‘COVID-19 Social Security Protocol’ and have extended our moratorium on travel and in-person events for staff and partners to September 2020.
    • Our first external intervention was to reinforce the need for donor flexibility and responsiveness in line with our focus on civil society resourcing and sustainability. Our Open Letter to Donors was published on 19 March, and followed up with targeted outreach meetings with a range of donor and development networks. In line with this effort, we extended the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund to cover COVID-19 related applications and are continuing to work with our allies in the #ShiftThePower movement to ensure international donors are providing much-needed support to local organisations in the global south in this period.
    • In keeping with our emphasis on the protection of civic space and human rights, we issued a statement urging states to put human rights at the heart of their response on 24 March. This has been followed by a CIVICUS Monitor briefing on restrictions and attacks on civil society that have been recorded since the pandemic was declared. On 16 April, we also launched an open letter to world leaders outlining 12 key actions required to protect civic space and human rights. The letter has received over 600 endorsements in less than a week since its launch, and will inform our advocacy efforts with governments.
    • In accordance with our focus on acting with others on structural challenges, we issued a call for a ‘Social Security Protocol for Civil Society’ on 07 April, in line with the ILO’s COVID-19 policy framework. The Protocol has now been adopted by close to 200 agencies, most of whom are local organisations in the global south with limited resources. This efforts reinforces our broader narrative on the systemic changes that civil society and wider society to act on as part of the effort that is needed to rebuild societies and economies in the aftermath of COVID-19. Our engagement with shaping and supporting international responses to the pandemic through close coordination with UN mechanisms in Geneva and New York as well as the emerging regional platform for COVID-19 policy priorities in Africa.

    Acting on our Mid-term Strategy Review

    We spent a significant amount of energy last year reviewing progress made against our strategy. The Mid-term Strategy Review resulted in 18 key recommendations which were taken forward by a process of deliberation and planning across the Secretariat, Board and membership. Our consolidated management response to the strategy review was published on 17 March 2020, and will inform our annual plans for the second half of the strategy period, as well as the planning process for the next strategy which will be initiated in 2021.

    While recognising that a significant amount of our efforts this year will need to be redirected to respond to the challenges that the pandemic is posing for civic space and civil society, we expect to continue investing energies in areas of work related to the mid-term review that speak to our ability to strengthen the ability of the CIVICUS alliance to organise forces and influence change in newer, more innovative ways.

    CIVICUS Midterm Strategy Review

    Improving our Accountability

    Our 11th Annual Accountability Report (for 2018/19) is now online. The feedback received from the Independent Review Panel includes recognition for efforts taken to ensure dynamic accountability, particularly around stakeholder engagement, partnerships, and learning. Recommendations for improvement include strengthening systems to track expenditure towards strategic objectives, as well as the management of our feedback systems. Both of these are areas that we will be paying attention this year.

    We look forward to your continued engagement and insights in the coming months.

    In solidarity,

    Lysa John

    Secretary-General, CIVICUS

    (Johannesburg, South Africa)

     

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