Afghanistan

 

  • Afganistán: la ONU y los Estados miembros deben tomar medidas urgentes para proteger a la sociedad civil

    En CIVICUS, la alianza global de la sociedad civil, nos preocupa profundamente la seguridad de las personas que defienden los derechos humanos, de los periodistas y del personal de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil en Afganistán, tras el colapso del gobierno del presidente Ashraf Ghani y la toma del poder por parte de los talibanes.

    Tal y como han solicitado los expertos de la ONU, instamos a los Estados miembros de la ONU a que tomen medidas inmediatas para protegerlos y a que convoquen urgentemente una sesión especial del Consejo de Derechos Humanos sobre Afganistán, que incluya un debate sobre el rápido establecimiento de una misión de investigación para evaluar la situación sobre el terreno e informar sobre ella.

    Los talibanes tienen un historial de abusos contra los derechos humanos, represalias coordinadas contra sus críticos y ataques a civiles con impunidad. Tras la toma de Kabul, las personas que defienden los derechos humanos informaron de que los talibanes habían revelado listas de nombres de representantes de la sociedad civil y de que se habían llevado a cabo redadas en sus domicilios. A las personas defensoras que intentan salir del país también se les ha impedido subir a los aviones, ya que las misiones extranjeras han dado prioridad a la evacuación de sus propios ciudadanos y personal. Los demás se han escondido y temen por su vida.

    El Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos también expresó su preocupación por los primeros informes según los cuales los talibanes están imponiendo severas restricciones a los derechos humanos en las zonas bajo su control, especialmente dirigidas a las mujeres.

    "La crisis que se está produciendo en Afganistán requiere una respuesta urgente y decidida de la ONU y de los Estados miembro. Deben adoptarse medidas proactivas para garantizar la seguridad y la protección de quienes defienden los derechos humanos, especialmente de las mujeres. Muchos corren el riesgo de ser objetivo de los talibanes por su trabajo, y hay que hacer esfuerzos para evacuarlos y reubicarlos a ellos y a sus familias", dijo Josef Benedict, investigador del Espacio Cívico de CIVICUS.

    CIVICUS ha documentado los ataques de los talibanes a la sociedad civil en los últimos años. Las personas que defienden los derechos humanos, sobre todo las mujeres, han sido amenazadas en el transcurso de su trabajo y algunas han sido secuestradas y asesinadas. Muchos han tenido que trasladarse por razones de seguridad, aunque los autores no han rendido cuentas. Las recientes negociaciones de paz no han incluido de forma adecuada y efectiva a la sociedad civil, especialmente a las defensoras de los derechos humanos.

    Según la información recopilada por el Comité Afgano de Defensores de los Derechos Humanos (AHRDC), sólo entre septiembre de 2020 y mayo de 2021 fueron asesinados 17 defensores de los derechos humanos. Más de 200 personas defensoras de los derechos humanos y representantes de los medios de comunicación han denunciado haber recibido graves amenazas. Dadas las actuales condiciones de conflicto e inestabilidad política, estas amenazas han aumentado.

    El llamamiento del secretario general de la ONU, António Guterres, el 16 de agosto, para que la comunidad internacional hable al unísono para defender los derechos humanos en Afganistán es un paso en la dirección correcta.

    "El Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU debe aprovechar la oportunidad actual para reanudar rápidamente las estancadas conversaciones de paz en Afganistán y garantizar la representación efectiva de la sociedad civil, especialmente de las mujeres. También debe pedir a los talibanes que respeten la legislación internacional en materia de derechos humanos, protejan a los civiles y pongan fin a las operaciones de represalia", dijo Josef Benedict.

    El CIVICUS Monitor es una plataforma en línea que hace un seguimiento de las amenazas a la sociedad civil en países de todo el mundo, califica el espacio cívico -el espacio para la sociedad civil- en Afganistán comorepresivo

     

  • Afghanistan : L'ONU et les États membres doivent prendre des mesures urgentes pour protéger la société civile

    CIVICUS, l'alliance mondiale de la société civile, est profondément préoccupée par la sécurité des défenseurs des droits humains, des journalistes et du personnel des organisations de la société civile en Afghanistan, suite à l'effondrement du gouvernement du Président Ashraf Ghani et à la prise de pouvoir par les Talibans.

    Comme l'ont demandé les experts de l'ONU, nous exhortons les États membres de l'ONU à prendre des mesures immédiates pour les protéger et à demander de toute urgence la tenue d'une session spéciale du Conseil des droits de l'homme sur l'Afghanistan, qui comprendra une discussion sur la mise en place rapide d'une mission d'enquête chargée d'évaluer la situation sur le terrain et de rendre compte.

    Les talibans ont un passé de violation des droits humains, de mesures de représailles coordonnées contre leurs détracteurs, et d'attaques contre les civils en toute impunité. Après la prise de contrôle de Kaboul, les défenseurs des droits humains ont signalé que des listes de noms de représentants de la société civile ont été révélées par les talibans et que des raids ont été menés à leur domicile. Les défenseurs des droits humains qui tentent de quitter le pays ont également été empêchés d'embarquer dans des avions, les missions étrangères ayant donné la priorité à l'évacuation de leurs propres ressortissants et de leur personnel. D'autres se sont cachés et craignent pour leur vie.

    Le Haut-Commissaire aux droits de l'homme s'est également inquiété des premières informations indiquant que les talibans imposent de sévères restrictions aux droits humains dans les zones qu'ils contrôlent, en ciblant particulièrement les femmes.

    « La crise qui se déroule en Afghanistan exige une réponse urgente et déterminée de la part des Nations unies et des États membres. Des mesures proactives doivent être prises pour assurer la sécurité et la protection des défenseurs des droits humains, en particulier des femmes. Nombre d'entre eux risquent d'être pris pour cible par les talibans en raison de leur travail, et des efforts doivent être déployés pour les évacuer et les réinstaller, eux et leurs familles », a déclaré Josef Benedict, chercheur en matière d'espace civique chez CIVICUS.

    CIVICUS a recueilli des informations sur les attaques des talibans contre la société civile au cours des dernières années. Les défenseurs des droits humains, en particulier les femmes, ont été menacés dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions et certains ont été enlevés et tués. Nombre d'entre eux ont dû déménager pour des raisons de sécurité, alors même que les auteurs de ces actes n'ont pas été tenus pour responsables. Les récentes négociations de paix n'ont pas réussi à inclure de manière adéquate et efficace la société civile, en particulier les femmes défenseures des droits humains.

    Selon les informations compilées par le Comité afghan des défenseurs des droits humains (AHRDC), 17 défenseurs des droits humains ont été tués entre septembre 2020 et mai 2021 seulement. Plus de 200 défenseurs des droits humains et représentants des médias ont déclaré avoir reçu de graves menaces. Compte tenu des conditions de conflit et de l'instabilité politique actuelles, ces menaces se sont amplifiées.

    L'appel lancé par le secrétaire général des Nations unies, António Guterres, le 16 août, à la communauté internationale pour qu'elle parle d'une seule voix afin de faire respecter les droits humains en Afghanistan, est un pas dans la bonne direction.

    « Le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies doit saisir l'occasion qui se présente actuellement pour relancer rapidement les pourparlers de paix inter-afghans, qui sont dans l'impasse, et assurer une représentation effective de la société civile, en particulier des femmes. Il doit également appeler les talibans à respecter le droit international des droits de l'homme, à protéger les civils et à mettre fin aux opérations de représailles », a déclaré Josef Benedict.

    Le CIVICUS Monitor,une plateforme en ligne qui suit les menaces pesant sur la société civile dans les pays du monde entier, qualifie l'espace civique - l'espace pour la société civile - en Afghanistan comme étant réprimé.

     

  • AFGHANISTAN: ‘The international response has been extremely weak and shameful’

    CIVICUS speaks with activist Arzak Khan, about the situation in Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban. Arzak is a digital rights expert with extensive experience in the use of innovation to influence social change and he has been working to assist Afghan human rights defenders. While some activists, journalists and others who were at risk of reprisals from the Taliban because of their work were able to leave the country, many others have not been able to and have gone into hiding. There have been reports of activists facing systematic intimidation. Afghanistan is currently on theCIVICUS Monitor Watchlist of countries experiencing a rapid decline in civic freedoms

    Arzak Khan

    What is the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover?

    On 15 August 2021, the Taliban entered the Afghan capital of Kabul, completing a rapid takeover with a speed that surprised many Afghans and the country’s neighbours. Following the fall of Kabul, the situation in the country has been uncertain. Prices for basic food items are increasing, people are becoming jobless, single mothers have been made redundant from jobs and a lot of uncertainty exists over girls’ education.

    Already a number of cases of human rights violations have been reported, and brutal crackdowns on protests and the women’s movement are taking place. The excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests by Taliban security forces as they crack down on protests have been highlighted by both traditional and social media since the fall of Kabul. It is important to remember that when the Taliban last ruled in the 1990s, women had to cover themselves fully, from head to toe, and were not allowed to walk outside without being escorted by a male family member.

    Afghan women have now realised that those dark days are not behind and are taking to the streets to advocate for women’s rights and demand equality, justice and democracy. The Taliban have fired teargas and used batons to break up their protests. Journalists who have covered protests have been jailed and tortured. Such actions highlight the rapidly deteriorating state of civic freedoms and the need to ensure that civic space is defended at all costs.

    What kinds of risks do civil society activists and organisations currently face?

    In their first news conference after taking charge of Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban promised women’s rights, media freedom and amnesty for former government officials. However, there is a high degree of hostility towards activists and civil society organisations (CSOs), and Taliban security forces on the ground have often accused them of spying for foreign governments.

    The more radical parts of the Taliban feel that because CSOs and activists cooperated with parties to the conflict, they are legitimate targets and should be punished for their role. CSO offices have been raided; all records, equipment and fixtures have been taken away. Many activists fear for their lives as the regime targets people from CSOs that have been vocal on important issues, such as women’s rights, LGBTQI+ rights and human rights in general.

    Due to increased threats against human rights defenders and activists, many have gone into hiding or are trying to flee the county. Even if the Taliban regime chooses not to target CSOs, activists and human rights defenders, it remains to be seen if they can provide a secure environment and prevent attacks from other actors, such as Islamic State-Khorasan – the local branch of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan – and other rogue elements.

    Are journalists currently able to report on the situation on the ground?

    To be honest, press freedom does not exist in Afghanistan any more. Absolute disregard for press and media freedoms is visible in the violent retaliation against journalists and media workers covering the recent protests. Images of the arrest and brutal flogging of two reporters who were detained while covering a women’s rights demonstration in Kabul is just once such incident that has been publicised globally. The senior Taliban leadership claims that journalists are not being attacked or tortured, but there’s a big difference between the Taliban on the media, who are more moderate and articulate, and the Taliban in the streets, who are uneducated, trigger happy and outright violent. Journalists and media outlets are unable to report the situation on the ground due to mounting pressure from local Taliban militias. Many journalists have been threatened with images of beheading to stop them reporting atrocities on ground.

    How have you been supporting civil society and activists?

    The stunningly swift collapse of the Afghan state created a situation of panic even for someone who has been closely monitoring the political developments in the country. Given the rapid response that was needed, I was able to quickly assess the situation on the ground and mobilise our partners to support Afghan activists, journalists and advocates for women’s rights to identify escape routes and lobby for securing visas, flights, or any kind of way out of Afghanistan to safe locations.

    Everything had to be done swiftly as there was high risk that these individuals and their families might be targeted by the Taliban because of their affiliation with international organisations. Assistance for healthcare, including mental health support to overcome trauma and terror, especially for women and children, had to be arranged for people escaping the regime.

    What do you think of the response by the international community so far?

    Despite urgent warnings from activists and civil society groups about the risks that human rights defenders, activists, marginalised communities and women would face under the Taliban, the international response to support our work has been extremely weak and shameful. It seems that states that over the past two decades played a critical role that led to civil society gains are now ready to sacrifice the blood and sweat of the people who worked to bring change to Afghanistan.

    On 7 October 2021, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to create a Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan. The resolution fell short of civil society demands for the establishment of an international monitoring and accountability mechanism. It is crucial that UN member states support the adoption of a resolution to create an independent investigative mechanism on Afghanistan as a matter of priority, that they support civic space freedoms and ensure that CSOs and activists are allowed to operate without fear of torture or death, and that the Taliban regime is held accountable for its actions.

    What else can international civil society and the international community do to support Afghan civil society?

    Civic space has been under attack in the South Asia region, and in Afghanistan it has become violent. To counter this trend, transnational actors that support civil society need to respond in a multi-dimensional manner. Unfortunately, the international response since the fall of Kabul seems stuck: some useful efforts have been undertaken, but they appear too limited, loosely focused and reactive rather than strategic and long-term.

    The international community and donor agencies should exert diplomatic pressure on the Taliban regime so it commits to protecting civic space in line with international human rights norms. They should establish emergency funds for persecuted rights activists and organisations and offer operational support to CSOs. Funders should also continue to expand flexible funding strategies to overcome legal barriers and help CSOs operate in hostile environments, working with intermediaries that can reach a wider range of partners and reducing grantees’ administrative burdens.

    For now, the future looks very uncertain. How the Taliban regime will react in the coming months is the million-dollar question. Between hope and hopelessness, I wish that peace can prevail, and that the international community does not turn its back on the people of Afghanistan, who have been victims of global powers’ regional dominance.

    Civic space inAfghanistan is rated repressed’by theCIVICUS Monitor.

    Get in touch with Arzak Khan through hisblog orFacebook page, and follow@arzakkhan on Twitter.

     

     

     

  • Afghanistan: Assault on peaceful protests highlight deteriorating space for civic freedoms

    Global civil society alliance CIVICUS condemns the excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests by Taliban security forces as they crack down on protests in Afghanistan. Such actions highlight the deteriorating space for civic freedoms in the country and the need to ensure independent mechanisms to hold Taliban authorities accountable.

     

  • Afghanistan: CIVICUS stands in solidarity with Save the Children

    Global civil society alliance, CIVICUS condemns the horrific attack on the office and staff of Save the Children in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan. We stand in solidarity with Save the Children and applaud the resolute courage of colleagues who continue their important work in very difficult circumstances.

     

  • Afghanistan: Demande pour exhorter les talibans à respecter les droits humains et faciliter le processus de fuite des Afghans vers l’Australie

    Hon. Scott Morrison
    Prime Minister of Australia 
    Parliament House
    CANBERRA ACT 2600

    CC

    Minister of Home Affairs 
    Hon Karen Andrew 
    Minister of Foreign Affairs 
    Hon Hon Marise Payne 

    Monsieur le Premier Ministre:

    Nous, soussignées, organisations de la société civile de différentes régions du monde, vous écrivons dans le cadre de la crise actuelle en Afghanistan, qui a suivi la chute du gouvernement du président Ashraf Ghani. Nous vous écrivons parce qu’il est urgent que la communauté internationale soutienne les défenseurs des droits humains, les représentants de la société civile et les journalistes qui tentent de fuir l’Afghanistan pour échapper aux actions potentiellement violentes des talibans. Dans les semaines à venir, il y a fort à craindre que les avancées accomplies en matière de  réalisations des droits humains au cours des 20 dernières années en Afghanistan soient rapidement remises en cause. 

    Comme vous le savez, les défenseurs des droits humains, en particulier ceux qui défendent les droits des femmes, les journalistes, et ceux associés aux groupes de la société civile, ont été victimes de violentes attaques, de menaces et d’intimidations de la part des talibans. Au cours des dernières années, CIVICUS et d’autres organisations de défense des droits humains ont documenté (en anglais) ces attaques ainsi que la très grande impunité dont jouissent leurs auteurs. Le Comité Afghan des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (AHRDC) a récemment rapporté (en anglais)que 17 défenseurs des droits humains avaient été tués rien qu’entre septembre 2020 et mai 2021. Plus de 200 défenseurs des droits humains et représentants des médias ont déclaré avoir reçu de graves menaces. Ces menaces se sont amplifiées compte tenu des conditions actuelles de conflit et de l’instabilité politique.

    Les talibans ont la réputation de violer les droits humains et d’attaquer des civils en toute impunité. Les femmes et les enfants ont fait les frais de ces attaques et beaucoup ont été empêchés de travailler et ont un accès limité à l’éducation et aux soins de santé. La déclaration (en anglais)du Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies António Guterres du 16 août 2021 exhortant la communauté internationale à parler d’une seule voix pour défendre les droits humains en Afghanistan est un pas dans la bonne direction. Nous notons également les préoccupations (en anglais)exprimées par le Haut-Commissaire aux Droits de l’Homme au sujet des premières indications selon lesquelles les talibans imposent de sévères restrictions aux droits humains dans les zones sous leur contrôle, ciblant en particulier les femmes.

    Comme on pouvait s’y attendre, de nombreux défenseurs des droits humains tentent de quitter le pays et nous avons reçu des informations selon lesquelles certains sont empêchés de monter à bord des avions, car les missions étrangères ont donné la priorité à l’évacuation de leurs propres ressortissants et de leur personnel. D’autres se sont cachés et craignent pour leur vie, et d’autres attendent l’inévitable. Les femmes qui ont milité pendant des années pour l’égalité des droits et une participation égale dans les espaces publics, y compris le processus de paix, ont fait l’objet de représailles.

    Nous prenons note des informations selon lesquelles au moins 3000 réfugiés afghans pourront se rendre en Australie au cours des dix prochains mois, et selon lesquelles les détenteurs de visas afghans actuellement en Australie ne seront pas invités à retourner en Afghanistan tant que leur sécurité est menacée. Cependant, il reste encore beaucoup à faire. La communauté internationale a la responsabilité, en vertu du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit humanitaire, de protéger les droits des Afghans, et l’un des moyens d’y parvenir est de permettre un voyage en tout sécurité à ceux qui sont en danger s’ils restent en Afghanistan.

    Honorable Premier ministre, nous exhortons votre gouvernement à s’entretenir en urgence avec les ministères concernés en Australie, afin d’élaborer un plan d’action national pour orienter la réponse de l’Australie face à la crise afghane. 

    Nous vous demandons de prioriser les actions suivantes dans le plan d’action ;

    • Appeler publiquement les talibans à respecter les droits humains, y compris les droits des filles et des femmes et les libertés fondamentales conformément au droit et aux normes internationaux relatifs aux droits humains.
    • Donner la priorité à l’octroi de sauf-conduits et de documents de voyage aux Afghans exposés à un risque accru de persécution de la part des talibans en raison de leur travail ou de leur statut antérieur, ainsi qu’aux membres de leur famille proche.
    • Exhorter les ambassades et missions australiennes à travers le monde à alléger les exigences de voyage pour les défenseurs des droits humains et les représentants de la société civile d’Afghanistan qui pourraient chercher à se rendre en Australie.
    • Créer un environnement favorable en Australie de nature à permettre à tous les Afghans qui fuient de se remettre des pressions psychosociales qu’ils ont endurées en Afghanistan et des angoisses qu’ils peuvent connaître en s’installant dans un nouveau pays.
    • S’engager à fournir un nouveau programme d’appui aux groupes de la société civile à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’Afghanistan qui contribue à la réinstallation des réfugiés, ou bien qui sensibilise sur les besoins humanitaires et les droits humains.
    • Soutenir la création d’un mécanisme indépendant d’enquête et de redevabilité qui prenne en compte le genre lors de la session extraordinaire du Conseil des Droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies sur l’Afghanistan prévue le 24 août 2021.

    Signatures:

    1. #TrustYourStruggleMovement
    2. ABAC
    3. Abraham's Children Foundation
    4. ACAT TOGO
    5. Accountability Lab
    6. ACDIEF
    7. ACP-DYSS
    8. ACT FOR CHANGE OU AGIR POUR LE CHANGEMENT 
    9. Action des Volontaires pour la Solidarité et le Développement AVSD
    10. Action for Community Transformation Initiative South Sudan
    11. Action for Humanity & Social Progress
    12. Action for Socio-political and Economic Change
    13. Actions Collectives pour le Développement Social, ACODES
    14. Actions for Development and Empowerment
    15. Actions pour la Lutte Contre les Injustices Sociales (ALCIS)
    16. Adult Learning Forum 
    17. Advance Centre for peace and credibility international and One Life Count Empowerment Foundation
    18. AFEDI
    19. AFeJE Bénin ONG
    20. Africa Rise Foundation 
    21. African Center for Solidarity and Mutual Aid between the Community (CASEC|ACSAC)
    22. African Development and Peace Initiative (ADPI)
    23. AFRICAN FOUNDATION FOR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (AFED)
    24. African Leaders Hub
    25. African Network of Youth Policy Experts
    26. African Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building Academy AYECBA 
    27. Afrihealth Optonet Association
    28. Agrupación Fe
    29. AJAD (Association des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement Durable)
    30. Alliance for Development and Population Services-ADEPS
    31. Alliance for Gender Justice and Human Rights
    32. ALUCHOTO
    33. Alvin tech 
    34. Amahoro Human Respect 
    35. Amani community based organization
    36. América Diversa Inc
    37. Amicale des Jeunes Chrétiens pour le Développement, AJECDE
    38. Amnesty International
    39. Angels in the Field
    40. Anuesp
    41. APPUI SOLIDAIRE POUR LE RENFORCEMENT DE L AIDE AU DEVELOPPEMENT
    42. Arcfrancis Foundation
    43. AROHI
    44. ARPE
    45. Asaasiam Vision International
    46. Asian Academy for Peace, Research and Development
    47. Asociación Civil, Colectivo para la Participación de la Infancia y Juventud 
    48. Asociacion Desplazada Nuevo Renacer
    49. Asociación Unión de Talleres 11 de Septiembre 
    50. Association des Amis de la Nature 
    51. Association des Jeunes pour le Développement et la Protection des Droits de l'Homme
    52. Association for Advancement of Human Rights 
    53. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development 
    54. Association for Reproductive and Family Health Burundi 
    55. Association Nigérienne pour la Démocratie et la gouvernance inclusive
    56. Association pour les victimes du monde
    57. Badhon ManobUnnayan Sangstha
    58. Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)     
    59. Banlieues Du Monde Mauritanie 
    60. Bareedo Platform Somalia 
    61. Beautiful Hearts NGO
    62. Benimbuto
    63. BIHDP
    64. Biso peuple
    65. BOACSE TANZANIA
    66. Breaking Out Mental Health
    67. Brothers keeper NGO
    68. Burundi Child Rights Coalition (BCRC)
    69. CA Comrades Association Namibia
    70. CAHURAST, Nepal
    71. Campaña Defender la Libertad: Asunto de Todas
    72. Capellanes Conacce
    73. Care for Social Welfare International 
    74. CareMe E-clinic
    75. Center for civil society development PROTECTA
    76. Center for Communities Education and Youth Development
    77. Center for Public Health Laws Social Economic Rights and Advocacy
    78. Center for Social Integrity 
    79. Centre d’Actions pour le Développement 
    80. Centre de support aux personnes handicapées
    81. Centre for environment, media and development communication
    82. Centre for Good Governance and Social Justice
    83. Centre for Inclusion and Empowerment
    84. Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ)
    85. Centre for Social Mobilization and Sustainable Development(CENSODEV)
    86. Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa
    87. Centre Oecuménique pour la Promotion du Monde Rural
    88. Centro Cultural Equidad y Género
    89. Centro de Análisis Político
    90. Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local
    91. Cercle de Réflexion sur le Développement Humain et les Changements Climatiques CERDHUCC
    92. CFF-Ghana 
    93. CHALLENGES International
    94. Chambre Transversale des Jeunes Entrepreneurs du Burundi
    95. CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING FOR PEACE(CYPLP)
    96. Children and Youth for Peace Agency - Sierra Leone (CYPA-SL)
    97. Chinland Development Network CDN Myanmar, and Pyinkhonegyi Phunsang Pawlkom -3P
    98. Civic Engagement Initiatives Trust
    99. CIVICUS
    100. Centre International de Formation des de l'homme pour le Développement  de Kisangani, Province de la Tshopo
    101. Climate Tracker 
    102. CO-OPERATIVE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
    103. Coalition des organisations pour la promotion des droits des travailleurs de sexe et transgenre
    104. Coalition of youth organizations SEGA
    105. Colectivo Jóvenes Por El Cambio
    106. Colectivo Seres, A.C.
    107. Commission internationale des droits de l'homme au Tchad
    108. Commission on Human Rights
    109. Community Development Foundation
    110. Community for Peace Foundation(COPEF)
    111. Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia
    112. Community Support Center / CSC-Asbl
    113. Comunidad de Organizaciones Solidarias
    114. Connecticut Institute for Social Entrepreneurship
    115. Connecting Gender for Development 
    116. Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations
    117. Construisons Ensemble le monde
    118. consultando soluciones
    119. ControlaTuGobierno A.C.
    120. Convention Nationale pour le Dialogue et le Règlement Pacifique des conflits au Tchad _CONDIRECT 
    121. COSAD BENIN
    122. Crisis Resolving Centre (CRC) 
    123. DAKILA
    124. Determined Society Organization
    125. Development and Service Centre (DESC)
    126. Differentabilities
    127. Digital Rights Activist 
    128. Earthforce Fight Squad NGO
    129. East Eagle Foundation
    130. Ecology Africa Foundation
    131. Edtech for Africa 
    132. EJO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
    133. ELOSAN VISION
    134. Entaxis - Action for inclusion and Education
    135. Equality Rights Africa Organization
    136. Espérance Mères et Enfants en RDC "EME-RDC"
    137. Ethiopian Initiative for Human Rights 
    138. Euphrates Institute-Liberia
    139. Euro-Mediterranean Resources Network
    140. Fair Africa
    141. FAMA
    142. Family Visions Child Trust
    143. FEDERACION PROVINCIAL DE ORGANIZACIONES CAMPESINAS DE ZAMORA CHINCHIPE
    144. Fédération des ONG de la région du Goh
    145. Feminist Centre 
    146. Fight Against Aids Guinee West Africa
    147. FINESTE
    148. Forums Territorial de la Jeunesse Martiniquaise 
    149. Fraternity Foundation For Human Rights 
    150. FSM Alliance of NGOs (FANGO) 
    151. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual
    152. Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo
    153. Fundación Ecuatoriana Equidad
    154. Fundación T.E.A. Trabajo, Educación, Ambiente
    155. Fundación Váyalo
    156. Fundimma
    157. Future leaders Society
    158. Gender Accountability for Peace and Security 
    159. Gender Equality Club
    160. Ghana Youth Environmental Movement
    161. Gibson Chisale
    162. Gidan Dutse Multipurpose Concept 
    163. Give Hope Uganda
    164. Global Participe
    165. Global Socio-economic and Financial Evolution Network (GSFEN)
    166. Global Young Greens
    167. Golden Change for Concerned Youth Forum
    168. Grassroot Development Support and Rural Enlightenment Initiative
    169. Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association-GURRA
    170. H.E.R.O.
    171. Haakro Welfare Association
    172. HAKI Africa
    173. Halley Movement Coalition
    174. Hamdam Foundation
    175. Hear Their Voice International (HTVI)
    176. Hidden and Emerging Treasures Initiative
    177. Hondureños Contra el SIDA
    178. Hope for Vulnerable Children Association
    179. Hope Porters Foundation 
    180. Hope Worldwide-Pakistan 
    181. Hub Ciencia Emprende
    182. Human Rights
    183. HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement 
    184. I BAMBINI DELL 'AFRICA ONLUS
    185. IAW
    186. ICCA asbl(Icirore C'Amahoro asbl)
    187. ICYE Nigeria
    188. IDA Rwanda
    189. Ikage
    190. Imbali Western Cape and Adult Learning Forum
    191. Inclusive Bangladesh
    192. Independent humanitarian worker
    193. India Youth For Society
    194. Infinite hope for vulnerable Africa
    195. Initiatives des Femmes en Situations Difficiles pour le Développement Durable et Intégré, IFESIDDI
    196. Innpactia
    197. Inspirers
    198. Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
    199. Institute of Youth, women welfare
    200. Instituto de asilencia para adictos a.c.
    201. Instituto de Educación Cibernética Automotriz Robótica y Electrónica 
    202. Integrated Agricultural Association (I.A.A)
    203. Intelligent initiative for Peace & Security Consciousness  
    204. INTER-ACTIONS ONG
    205. Intercedes youth empowerment
    206. International Association for Migrant Support
    207. International Association for Political Science Students
    208. International Development Opportunity Initiative
    209. International Human Rights Council 
    210. International Society for Peace and Safety 
    211. Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms
    212. Jade Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo, A.C.
    213. Jesmak health & Safety Center
    214. Jesus Vazquez Garcia
    215. JEUNES LEADER DU MALI
    216. Jeunesse Assistance
    217. Justice Call
    218. Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons
    219. JusticeMakers Bangladesh 
    220. Kadiwaku Foundation
    221. Kanika Khurana
    222. kathak academy(KA)UNCSO(ECOSOC)
    223. Kenneth and Jacob's House
    224. Kijana Hai Foundation 
    225. KITUMAINI ASBL
    226. Knit Together Initiative 
    227. Koneta 
    228. Kwapda'as Road Safety Demand Foundation
    229. Lamu coastal indigenous people's rights for development (LCIPRD)
    230. Leaders for Leaders Champion 
    231. Leadership Development Association Bangladesh
    232. Liberia Sexual Gender Base Violence Movement LSGBV 
    233. Ligue Burundaise des droits de l'homme Iteka
    234. Local Communities Development Initiative 
    235. LOCAL SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES ORGANISATION (LOSCO)
    236. Locate i
    237. Love Alliance Foundation for Orphans, Disabled and Abandoned Persons in Nigeria 
    238. Lupus Initiative Uganda 
    239. Lutheran world federation
    240. Mahatma phule samaj seva mandal 
    241. Manica Youth Assembly 
    242. Masombo The Life/NGO
    243. Mémorial des victimes des conflits armés en République Démocratique du Congo
    244. Men 4 Equality
    245. MENA Research and Conferences
    246. Mercy Sisters 
    247. Merowa junior school Kampala
    248. Mike’s New Generation Vision
    249. MILES CHILE
    250. Mouvement Citoyen Ras-Le-Bol
    251. Mouvement INAMAHORO, Femmes & Filles pour la Paix & la Securite
    252. Movilizatorio
    253. Movimiento Juvenil Indígena de la Moskitia - Mark Rivas (MOJIMM) 
    254. MPS GABON
    255. MUDDH - MOVIMIENTO UNIDO POR LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS
    256. Municipal youth network-Nepal
    257. MUP'S COMMUNICATION
    258. Ñañaykuna
    259. National  Women Sudanese Association
    260. National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO)
    261. National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
    262. NEW ERA MOVEMENT
    263. NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN)
    264. Nigeria Youth SDGs Network
    265. Nigerian Global Affairs Council
    266. Noem Elderly Iutreach Uganda
    267. North Rift Human Rights Network
    268. North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS)
    269. Northern Initiative for Community Empowerment
    270. Nouveaux Droits de l'homme Congo Brazzaville
    271. Observatoire National pour la Démocratie et l’Environnement ONADE
    272. Oil Refinery Residents Association
    273. Onelife Initiative for Human Development
    274. ONG ADOKA
    275. ONG CRI DES JEUNES ET FEMMES VULNERABLES, CJFV.
    276. ONG Good Neighbors
    277. ONG ICON Niger 
    278. ONG ITODJU
    279. ONG María Acoge
    280. Organisation Internationale des volontaires des Nations Unies 
    281. Organisation pour la protection des droits de l'homme 
    282. Organizando Trans Diversidades (Asociación OTD Chile)
    283. Organization of the Justice Campaign
    284. OTRANS-RN 
    285. Otro Tiempo México AC
    286. Pahel Pakistan 
    287. Pan - African Peacemakers Alliance (PAPA)
    288. PARIVARTHANA
    289. PAWA - Pacific Australian Womens Association
    290. Peace Education and Practice Network (PEPNET)
    291. People's health movement
    292. People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
    293. Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP)
    294. PJUD-BENIN ONG
    295. Plateforme des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance 
    296. Plateforme nationale des organisations de la société civile pour la lutte contre le VIH et Tuberculose 
    297. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (PDI)
    298. Programme d'Appui à la Lutte contre la Pauvreté pour l'Emergence et la Restauration d'un développement durable
    299. Progressive Single Mothers Network
    300. Red de Desaparecidos en Tamaulipas 
    301. REDECIM
    302. Redemption Research for Health and Educational Development Society(RRHEDS)
    303. Redlad
    304. REFUGEES PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR PEACE-RPP 
    305. Regional Network of Children and Young People Trust 
    306. Réseau des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l'Observation et le Suivi des Élections en Guinée (ROSE) 
    307. Réseau Nigérien Anti-Corruption
    308. RIHRDO (Rural Infrastructure and Human Resource Development Organization )
    309. Rising Winners Youth Empowerment Initiative (RWYEI)
    310. RNDDH
    311. Rotary Club of Alabang Madrigal Business Park
    312. RUKIGA FORUM FOR DEVELOPMENT (RUFODE)
    313. Rural Development Foundation
    314. Ryht Group 
    315. Safe employee and volunteer
    316. Sahiba Foundation
    317. SAPI Child international
    318. Save the Climat
    319. Savie asbl NGO LGBTIQ PGEL Congo DRC
    320. Sehzoor Life Organization 
    321. Service Workers In Group Foundation Uganda 
    322. Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care
    323. She & Peer
    324. Shibganj Integrated Development Society
    325. Sierra Leone School Green Clubs (SLSGC)
    326. Sierra Leone Unites
    327. Siyakholwa Support Care Centre 
    328. Social Action For Empowerment and Relief 
    329. Social democracy movement 
    330. Social Voice Networking Forum - Pakistan
    331. Société Civile Engagée 
    332. Somali Action for Transformation (Somact)
    333. SOPEVUDECO ASBL
    334. SORETO
    335. SOS Jeunesse et Enfance en Détresse " SOS JED
    336. Sout To Support Women's Rights 
    337. South African National Civic Organisation
    338. South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO)
    339. Southwest Genesis Consultancy
    340. Swabalambee Foundation
    341. TARGET 4.7 Education for Global Citizenship & Sustainability 
    342. Tariro Foundation of Zimbabwe Trust
    343. The Environment Ameliorators
    344. The Institute of Caribbean Studies/SMART Futures Movement 
    345. The Young Republic
    346. Timely performance care center
    347. Today for tomorrow foundation
    348. Tomorrow for human rights 
    349. Toto Centre Initiative 
    350. Tournonslapage 
    351. Tremendas Panamá 
    352. Uganda Diversity Network
    353. UGONMA FOUNDATION
    354. Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative
    355. Umbrella for Journalists in Kasese (UJK)
    356. UN SDGs Programme
    357. Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social - UNITAS 
    358. United nations Youth Association-Ghana
    359. United World Against Diabetes 
    360. Universal Union For Consumer Protection and Civil Abuse "UNUCOPCA" NGO
    361. University of Western Cape
    362. VEILLE CITOYENNE TOGO 
    363. Venezuela Diversa AC
    364. VIE +
    365. Vivace Youth  Centre 
    366. Volunteer Activists
    367. Warembo Forum
    368. Welfare Taskforce for Malaysian Students Abroad
    369. WELFARE TOGO
    370. West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)
    371. Western Youth Empire 
    372. Women and Children Empowerment Network-South Africa
    373. Women in Action-WINA
    374. WOMEN WITHOUT POVERTY (WOWIPO) 
    375. World Mission Agency
    376. World Youth Union S/L
    377. YACAP INTERNATIONAL
    378. YES We Can
    379. yesaid society (Kenya)
    380. Young African change makers
    381. YOUNG AFRICAN FIGHTERS ORGANIZATION 
    382. Young Men Association
    383. Youth Advocacy Network
    384. Youth Advocates for Change
    385. Youth Against Drug Abuse YADA International 
    386. Youth Arm Org
    387. Youth Association of Sierra Leone
    388. Youth Development Initiative Trust 
    389. Youth Enrichment for Success
    390. Youth for the Mission
    391. Youth Forum for Social Justice
    392. Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana
    393. Youth innovation centre 
    394. Youth Leadership Parliament, Nigeria
    395. Youth Network for Positive Change

     

  • Afghanistan: Disappointing Human Rights Council Resolution a major blow for human rights

    Statement after the special session on Afghanistan at the UN Human Rights Council

    The Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council during its Special Session on 24 August 2021 in response to the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan fails to effectively address grave human rights violations in the country. 

    “The resolution is the weakest possible response to the crisis as it ignored urgent requests from civil society to establish an international monitoring and accountability mechanism in response to rights abuses and to prevent a looming humanitarian crisis,” said Susan Wildling, Head of Geneva Office for CIVICUS.

    The resolution, which fails to explicitly mention the “Taliban” by name calls on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report at the Council’s 49th Session in March 2022.  It calls for an interactive dialogue to accompany the report which could potentially limit the number of civil society voices able to report on the atrocities on the ground.

    The Special Session was called by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation  (OIC) and was co-sponsored by Afghanistan and a number of UN Member States could have created an independent international investigative mechanism to gather evidence of abuses as a step towards ensuring  accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations. While many member and observer States voiced their support for an independent investigative mechanism, the Resolution  fell far short of this bare minimum request.

    “At a time when the people of Afghanistan urgently need a concerted response from the international community, the Human Rights Council failed to show leadership by ignoring calls from civil society for a gender-sensitive investigative mechanism to record violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,”  said Susan Wilding.

    The Taliban have a track record of attacking civilians and engaging in reprisals against those who criticise them. Some have been abducted and killed.  Following the takeover of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, human rights defenders have reported that lists of names of representatives of civil society have been revealed by the Taliban and raids have been carried out in their homes.  Women human rights defenders and journalists are particularly at risk.  Others trying to flee Afghanistan have been prevented from boarding airplanes as foreign missions have prioritized evacuating their own nationals and staff.  Several have gone into hiding for fear for their lives.  The Taliban has also cracked down on peaceful protests in several cities.

    The failure of the Human Rights Council to address the human rights concerns of the people of Afghanistan and hold the Taliban accountable for its human rights violations is a missed opportunity.  CIVICUS believes the Human Rights Council must use its September Session to develop an adequate response to the crisis.

    Presently, CIVICUS urges UN agencies and multilateral institutions to retain their presence in Afghanistan with a view to actively safeguarding human rights & gender justice gains. The presence of UN agencies is crucial to a coordinated response to protect those at risk  of persecution. UN Member States should support the UN to play a lead role in responding to the crisis on the ground. 

    Further, CIVICUS urges the urgent inclusion of Civil Society in any national and international initiatives on Afghanistan. 


    Civic space in Afghanistan is rated as Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor.

     

     

  • Afghanistan: Joint call for immediate end to attacks against HRDs & need for protection & accountability

    Afghanistan Statement on Security of HRDs May2021

    The threats, harassment, intimidation, and attacks against human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and media workers in Afghanistan must end – the undersigned international human rights organisations said.  

    From September 2020 until May 2021, a total of 17 human rights defenders have been killed, including nine journalists, based on information compiled by the Afghan Human Rights Defenders Committee (AHRDC). Nine of those killed were in the first five months of this year. During this period, over 200 human rights defenders and media representatives reported that they were receiving serious threats to the AHRDC and the Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee. A report published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in February 2021, noted that 65 media practitioners and human rights defenders have been killed since 2018. In most of these cases, no perpetrators have been held to account. These attacks are aimed at silencing peaceful dissent and those working on human rights, especially women’s rights, as well as those seeking justice and accountability for human rights violations. The timing of escalating attacks against human rights defenders, activists, and journalists appears to be linked to the ongoing peace process between the Government of Afghanistan, the United States, and the Taliban.

    It is vital to uphold and prioritize freedom of expression during this critical time in Afghanistan and for its future. The progress made on creating safe space for human rights defenders especially women human rights defenders and journalists is at stake with the United States and NATO forces’ full withdrawal announcement from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021. The attack targeting school children in Kabul on 8 May, is a devastating reminder of escalating violence against civilians, especially against women and girls. The international community, as stakeholders of the current political processes, including the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and NATO member States, should under international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law, protect the rights of all, especially those being targeted such as human rights defenders and civil society activists. However, with the announcement of unconditional withdrawal and no progress on the peace process, the promotion and protection of the rights of human rights defenders and journalists do not seem to be a priority.   

    The lack of respect for International Humanitarian Law and the absence of accountability for attacks against human rights defenders and activists, have only increased the danger to defenders and emboldened perpetrators. Afghan authorities and the international community must call on all parties to stop using civilian targets for military gains and safeguard the progress in human rights made over the last two decades and ensure that they are not scaled back as a result of the ongoing negotiations. 

    Civil society members, women human rights defenders, and journalists are systematically threatened and attacked for the work they carry out. Those working outside the capital are especially exposed to serious threats due to the lack of support available in Kabul and through some international networks and embassies. Many of these defenders have had to relocate within Afghanistan and, in some cases, even temporarily leave the country with their families for safety concerns. Defenders fear publicly denouncing attacks they are subjected to due to concerns over the security and sustainability of their work. This demonstrates the immense pressure under which Afghan defenders, activists, and journalists are forced to live and work. 

    State mechanisms for the protection of defenders including the recently appointed Joint Commission for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders have yet to be operationalized. The government has failed to adequately respond to complaints of threats and early warning signals of attacks against human rights defenders and journalists. Defenders are faced with the impossible choice of balancing their commitment to work in their country with threats against themselves and their families.  We call on the Government of Afghanistan to take greater responsibility to ensure the safety and security of defenders, activists, and journalists, and to end impunity for the attacks against them. 

    Women human rights defenders, journalists, and minority groups in Afghanistan have been among the worst affected.  Many women defenders have been compelled to relocate internally or outside the country, stop their work, or stay at home. Attacks on women defenders have included harassment of family members and colleagues. Women who have campaigned for years for equal rights, and equal participation in public spaces, including the peace process, have found themselves under attack in reprisals against them for their work.  

    The Government of Afghanistan and international stakeholders and facilitators in the ongoing peace process must take responsibility through their conduct and engagement in the country to stop the increase in violent attacks against human rights defenders.  Rights groups and the United Nations have consistently called for the effective participation of civil society representatives, especially women human rights defenders, in the peace process given its huge impact on security on the ground. Despite this, and even though rights groups and women defenders have worked continuously to engage with the peace process, the Moscow summit in March 2021 did not see effective representation of women.  A peace process, or negotiation, that fails to include women representatives adequately and effectively, and in parallel engages with the Taliban without benchmarks on human rights, undermines women’s safety and progress made on human rights over the past years. Much more must be done to ensure that the peace process takes into account the threats, harassment, intimidation, and attacks occurring in the country and to ensure that it does not exacerbate people’s suffering.  

    The crisis unfolding in the country requires a strong commitment to direct engagement and support for Afghan defenders to work and live in safety and dignity. It requires the international community to proactively support those defenders who have worked to promote and protect human rights, at great personal cost. As human rights organizations focusing on the protection of human rights defenders, we call for an effective protection mechanism for human rights defenders in Afghanistan.  We, therefore, call on the Government of Afghanistan and relevant international actors to take the following measures: 

    • The newly established government-led Joint Commission must deliver on its objectives to provide effective protection to human rights defenders at risk. We call for access to information on the measures that the Joint Commission has taken so far to provide immediate protection to defenders, investigate the threats against them, and bring suspected perpetrators to justice. 
    • Ensure that human rights standards and the protection of human rights defenders are articulated as key benchmarks for any sustainable peace process. The Taliban and others targetting civilians and human rights defenders must immediately halt violence and prioritize intra-Afghan peace talks as a way to ensure sustainable peace. 
    • Offer human rights defenders immediate practical support on the ground at all levels, including through diplomatic and political channels. 
    • Actively ensure justice and redress for violence and threats against defenders especially by local authorities and law enforcement to ensure prompt responses to security threats. 
    • Establish a national monitoring mechanism, and an impartial and independent mechanism internationally to investigate the killings of human rights defenders, journalists, clarifying the circumstances in which the defenders were killed, expeditiously bringing those responsible to justice. 
    • Collaborate with human rights defenders and civil society organisations for designing and implementing robust protection policies with a gender perspective and an intersectional approach.
    • Ensure effective representation of human rights defenders, especially women, in any peace process that has a bearing on their security, including but not limited to the peace process. Participation must include guarantees of safety and effective and equitable representation of views. 

    Signatory Organisations: 

    1. Amnesty International 
    2. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
    3. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
    4. FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    5. World Organisation Against Torture 
    6. (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    7. Front Line Defenders
    8. South Asians for Human Rights 
    9. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – Asia & Pacific
    10. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

    For further information, please contact: 

    • Front Line Defenders: Adam Shapiro, Head of Communications & Visibility – - +1-202-294-8813
    • South Asians for Human Rights: Anushaya Collure, Programme Coordinator – +94)-11-2695910
    • Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) - .
    • Amnesty International: Samira Hamidi, Regional Campaigner,
    • CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation: Josef Benedict, Asia Pacific Researcher -
    • FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders: Juliette Rousselot, +33 (0)6 81 72 10 73,
    • World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) - Iolanda Jaquemet, Director of Communications - - +41 79 539 4106
    • Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – Asia & Pacific -
    • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: Tessa Cerisier <>;

     

  • Afghanistan: UN and Member States must take urgent steps to protect civil society

    CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance is deeply concerned about the safety of human rights defenders, journalists and staff of civil society organisations in Afghanistan following the collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s government and the takeover by the Taliban.

    As called for by UN experts, we urge UN member states to take immediate steps to protect them as well as urgently call for a Special Session at the Human Rights Council on Afghanistan which will include a discussion on the speedy establishment of a fact-finding mission to be deployed to assess the situation on the ground and report back.

    The Taliban have a track record of abusing human rights, coordinating reprisals against their critics and attacking civilians with impunity. Following the takeover of Kabul, human rights defenders have reported that lists of names of representatives of civil society have been revealed by the Taliban and raids have been carried out in their homes. Human rights defenders trying to leave the country have also been prevented from boarding planes as foreign missions have prioritised evacuating their own nationals and staff. Others have gone into hiding and fear for their lives.

    The High Commissioner for Human Rights has also expressed concerns about early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women.

    “The crisis unfolding in Afghanistan requires an urgent and resolute response from the UN and member states. Proactive steps must be taken to ensure the security and protection of human rights defenders especially women. Many are at risk of being targeted by the Taliban because of their work and there must be efforts taken to evacuate and resettle them and their families,” said CIVICUS’s Civic Space Researcher, Josef Benedict.

    CIVICUS has documented attacks on civil society by the Taliban in recent years. Human rights defenders particularly women have been facing threats for undertaking their work and some have been abducted and killed. Many have had to relocate due to safety concerns even as perpetrators have not been held accountable. Recent peace negotiations failed to adequately and effectively include civil society, especially women human rights defenders.

    According to information compiled by the Afghan Human Rights Defenders’ Committee (AHRDC) 17 human rights defenders were killed between September 2020 and May 2021 alone. Over 200 human rights defenders and media representatives reported receiving serious threats. In light of the present conflict conditions and political instability, these threats have magnified.

    The UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ on 16 August urged the international community to speak in one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan is a step in the right direction.

    “The UN Security Council must seize the current opportunity to quickly restart the stalled intra-Afghan peace talks and ensure effective representation of civil society especially women. It must also call on the Taliban to respect international human rights law, protect civilians, and end reprisal attacks”, said Josef Benedict.

    The CIVICUS Monitor, an online platform that tracks threats to civil society in countries across the globe, rates civic space – the space for civil society – in Afghanistan as Repressed.

     

  • CIVICUS Joint UN Universal Periodic Review submissions on civil society space

    Submissions on civil society space– Afghanistan, Chile, Eritrea, Macedonia, Vietnam & Yemen

    CIVICUS and its partners have submitted joint UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submissions on six countries in advance of the 32nd UPR session in January 2019. The submissions examine the state of civil society in each country, including the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression and the environment for human rights defenders. We further provide an assessment of the States’ domestic implementation of civic space recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle over 4 years ago and provide a number of targeted follow-up recommendations.  

    Afghanistan: CIVICUS, Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (AHRO), Civil Society and Human Rights Network and People’s Action for Change Organization explore the continued insecurity in Afghanistan, which has resulted in the closure of space for civil society, including through targeted attacks on humanitarian workers, protesters and journalists. We further discuss violence against women and the desperate situation faced by women HRDs in Afghanistan who are subjected to a heightened level of persecution because of their gender and their human rights activism.

    Chile: CIVICUS and Pro Acceso Foundation (Fundación Pro Acceso) highlight serious concerns regarding the persistent misuse of the Anti-Terrorism Law to silence members of the Mapuche indigenous community advocating for land rights. We are also concerned by the lack of government commitment to amend legislation regulating the right to peaceful assembly and by the violent suppression of social protests, especially those led by the student movement and indigenous communities. 

    Eritrea: CIVICUS, EMDHR and Eritrea Focus highlight the complete closure of the space for civil society in Eritrea to assemble, associate and express themselves. We note that there are no independent civil society organisations and private media in the country. We further discuss how the government selectively engages with international human rights mechanisms including UN Special Procedures. 

    Macedonia: CIVICUS, the Balkan Civil Society Development Network and the Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation outline serious concerns over the institutional harassment of NGOs in receipt of foreign funding since 2016. Despite a recent improvement in respect for civic freedoms, the submission discusses several restrictions on investigative journalists and media outlets. We also remain alarmed over smear campaigns against human rights defenders and critics of the government orchestrated by nationalist groups. 

    Vietnam: CIVICUS, Civil Society Forum, Human Rights Foundation (HRF), VOICE and VOICE Vietnam examine systematic attempts in Vietnam to silence HRDs and bloggers, including through vague national security laws, physical attacks, restrictions on their freedom of movement and torture and ill-treatment in detention. The submission also explores strict controls on the media in law and in practice, online censorship and the brutal suppression of peaceful protests by the authorities.

    Yemen: CIVICUS, Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Front Line Defenders discuss the ongoing extreme violence against and HRDs and journalists including regular abductions, kidnappings and detention in undisclosed location. We further examine restrictions on freedom of association including raids on CSOs causing many to reduce their activities drastically and even closed entirely. 

    See full library of previous UPR country submissions from CIVICUS and partners. For the latest news on civic space in all UN Member States, see country pages on the CIVICUS Monitor

     

  • Countries on CIVICUS Monitor watchlist presented to UN Human Rights Council

    Statement at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

    Delivered by Lisa Majumdar

    Thank you, Madame President.

    A number of countries have experienced serious and rapid decline in respect for civic freedoms in the last months. We call upon the Council to do everything in their power to immediately end the ongoing civic space crackdowns which are a foreshadowing of worse violations to come.

    In Afghanistan, against a backdrop of deepening human rights, humanitarian and economic crisis, activists face systematic intimidation and are at grave risk. The Taliban are carrying out house-to-house searches for activists and journalists, and have responded with excessive force, gunfire and beatings to disperse peaceful protests, leading to deaths and injuries of peaceful protesters. The Council previously failed to take swift action to establish a monitoring and accountability mechanism. We urge it to remedy this missed opportunity now.

    In Belarus, attacks on human rights defenders and independent journalists have intensified, against the backdrop of recent draconian changes to the Mass Media Law and to the Law on Mass Events which were adopted in May 2021. We call on the Council to ensure that arbitrarily detained human rights defenders are released, and perpetrators of violations are held to account.

    Since the end of May, Nicaragua’s authorities have carried out a further crackdown on civil society and the opposition. Dozens of political leaders and human rights defenders were arrested and prosecuted as the government acted to silence critics and opponents ahead of presidential elections in November, a context which renders free and fair elections impossible. It is essential that the Council escalates its international scrutiny of Nicaragua to further accountability and justice for crimes under international law.

    We thank you.

    Civic space in Afghanistan, Belarus and Nicaragua is rated as repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor 

     

  • Five countries added to watchlist of countries where civic freedoms are under serious threat

     

    • Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, and Venezuela join global watchlist
    • Escalating rights violations include killings, attacks on protesters, media restrictions and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders
    • International community must pressure governments to end repression

    Five countries from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America have been added to a watchlist of countries which have seen a rapid decline in fundamental freedoms in recent weeks and months. The new watchlist released by the CIVICUS Monitor, an online platform that tracks threats to civil society across the globe, identifies growing concerns in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, and Venezuela.

    Activists and civil society organisations in these countries are experiencing an infringement of their civic freedoms as protected by international law. These violations include the use of excessive force by security forces during peaceful protests and journalists being arbitrarily detained and harrassed in both Sudan and Venezuela. In Serbia, space for independent media is under concerted attack while massive anti-government demonstrations are taking place. In Saudi Arabia, authorities continue the crackdown on women human rights defenders, who are being subject to arbitrary detentions and ill treatment for their activism on gender issues. While, in Afghanistan, there has been a record high number of civilian casualties (3,800 in 2018). The upcoming July presidential elections pose additional security risks and a threat to shrinking civic space, as over 400 civilians and voters were killed or injured (including eight candidates), during last October’s parliamentary elections.

    “It is deeply concerning to see escalated threats to basic rights in these countries,” said Marianna Belalba Barreto, CIVICUS Civic Space Research Lead. “It is critical that these five governments wake up to their failure to respect international law and take swift action to respect their citizens’ most basic freedoms in a democratic society and create an enabling environment for civil society organisations” Belalba said. “We also call upon neighbouring states and international bodies to put pressure on these countries to end the repression and ensure positive steps are taken to guarantee the safe space for civil society to continue their legitimate work”

    Large-scale anti-government demonstrations have been ongoing across Sudan since 19th December 2018 calling for President Omar Al-Bashir to step down in the context of a growing frustration over the harsh economic and social situation. In response, the authorities have launched a violent campaign targeting protesters, including doctors, teachers, journalists, women activists and opposition political leaders. With the declaration of a state of emergency, civic space restrictions continue to increase with hundreds of protesters on trial and dozens sentenced in summary trials on charges of participating in demonstrations.

    Serbia has witnessed sustained protest since December 2018. Protests started after an opposition politician was assaulted by unknown assailants wielding metal rods. For the most part, authorities in Serbia have largely ignored or attempted to downplay the scale of the protests. However on 17th March 2019 after 14 consecutive weeks of demonstrations, police in Belgrade used excessive force to disperse protesters that were calling for greater press freedom and fair elections. After encircling the Presidential building, clashes between protesters and police broke out, leading to the use of tear gas by Serbian authorities. Ten people were arrested in the confrontation. The government has also orchestrated a smear campaign against protesters  labelling opponents of the government as “paid” activists working against Serbian interests.

    Despite claims that the Saudi Arabian government is leading reforms to improve the situation of women in the country, Saudi authorities continue to persecute women activists. Since the crackdown began in May 2018, at least 22 women human rights defenders have been arrested and subjected to human rights violations because of their activism on gender issues. Reports indicate that several detained rights defenders have been subjected to torture including sexual assault and harassment.

    In Venezuela, since January 2019, massive anti-government protests have continued to take place in the country. The government has responded by using excessive force against demonstrators, arbitrarily detaining protestors, including teenagers, as well as detaining and harassing human rights defenders and journalists. Just between 21 and 25 January, at least 41 people died in circumstances linked to the protests,and more than 900 people were arbitrarily detained. For years, protesters in Venezuela have been met with excessive force by authorities, as people take to the streets to demand a change in government, the pattern of repression will likely intensify. Human rights organisations working to deliver humanitarian aid are especially targeted with harassment, and in some cases, their offices have been raided. It is estimated that more than three million venezuelans have fled the country due to the humanitarian crisis and denial of basic rights such as health and food.

    Since the beginning of 2019, at least three journalists have been killed in Afghanistan. The country was the world's deadliest for journalists in 2018 with 13 reporters and 2 other media professionals killed. Citizens risk being killed and attacked for participating in government elections and civil society is currently excluded from peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States (U.S.), and parallel peace talks in Moscow. Women’s groups and persecuted communities are campaigning to have their voices heard in the peace process, and to ensure that any agreement guarantees human rights and democratic freedoms.

    In the coming weeks, the CIVICUS Monitor will closely track developments in each of these countries as part of efforts to ensure greater pressure is brought to bear on governments. CIVICUS calls upon these governments to do everything in their power to immediately end the ongoing crackdowns and ensure that perpetrators are held to account.

    See full CIVICUS Monitor Watchlist Summary


    For more information and to speak with regional and country specific contacts, please message:

    Marianna Belalba Barreto, CIVICUS Civic Space Research Lead

     

  • Increased targeting of members of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission

    Front Line Defenders, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and the International Service for Human Rights, condemn the killing of two employees of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Fatima Khalil and Ahmad Jawed Folad, on 27 June 2020. The AIHRC staff were killed by an improvised explosive device while on their way to work in the organisation’s official vehicle in Kabul. We believe the killing is a direct reprisal for their human rights work.

     

  • Open appeal to UN Member States to ensure the adoption of a resolution creating an investigative mechanism on Afghanistan at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council

    We, the undersigned organisations, write to urge UN Member States to ensure the adoption of a robust resolution to establish a Fact-Finding Mission or similar independent investigative mechanism on Afghanistan as a matter of priority at the upcoming 48th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

    We express our profound regret at the failure of the recent HRC special session on Afghanistan to deliver a credible response to the escalating human rights crisis gripping the country. The adopted resolution falls far short of the consistent calls of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures and civil society organisations, and does not live up to the mandate of the HRC to effectively address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations. 

    A Fact-Finding Mission, or similar independent investigative mechanism, with a gender-responsive and multi-year mandate and resources to monitor and regularly report on, and to collect evidence of, human rights violations and abuses committed across the country by all parties is a critical component of the broader international response urgently needed to address the escalating human rights and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Such a mechanism is crucial to ensure UN member states are fully informed of the situation on the ground as they take important decisions on how to respond to the crisis, how to help protect the rights and lives of the people of Afghanistan, and how to prevent further crimes. It is crucial to support the brave activists and human rights defenders, particularly women human rights defenders, who have continued their work at significant personal risk and have requested support and solidarity from the international community. It is also crucial as a means of taking one small step to addressing the accountability gap that fuels grave violations and abuses across the country, and to complement and support international and national work on accountability for crimes under international law. 

    The urgent need for such a mechanism could not have been made clearer throughout the negotiations, and at the opening of the special session. The AIHRC, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Procedures, the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations in Geneva, and a broad constellation of national, regional and international civil society organisations, have all made this call clearly and consistently. The High Commissioner for Human Rights stressed that while her Office was ready and willing to update the HRC regularly on the situation, it was critical for the HRC to take “bold and vigorous action, commensurate with the gravity of this crisis, by establishing a dedicated mechanism to closely monitor the evolving human rights situation in Afghanistan, including – in particular – the Taliban's implementation of its promises, with a focus on prevention.” To ignore these consistent appeals, and sit idly by and wait for further crimes to occur to take meaningful action, is an abdication of responsibility by the HRC. The people of Afghanistan are entitled to much better than this. 

    At the special session, UN Special Procedures recalled that the last 18 months “have been the deadliest civilian casualties recorded in Afghanistan in late history” and also reminded the Council of the fifth report of the UN Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan (S/2021/662 16 July 2021) documenting “that child casualties for the first half of 2021 constituted the highest number of children killed and maimed for this period ever recorded by the UN in Afghanistan, a situation compounded in the last few weeks.”   

    At this crucial moment for the people of Afghanistan, we are convinced that an independent investigative mechanism is the only credible means to address the human rights crisis in the country, advance accountability and deter further abuses. Although some states proposed the creation of a Special Rapporteur as a compromise during the special session, this would not be an adequate or appropriate response to a crisis of this magnitude for a number of reasons, including the lack of resources, limited capacity, and correspondingly narrower scope of such a mandate. We note that the special session resolution itself “stresses the need for transparent and prompt investigation into reports of all violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, committed by all parties to the conflict, and to hold those responsible to account.” Clearly, the only credible way to give effect to this commitment is to create such a “transparent and prompt investigation.”

    We urge all UN Member States, to take urgent action to correct the HRC’s course, by ensuring a robust independent investigative mechanism is put in place when it meets for its 48th regular session in September. As noted by the Chairperson of the AIHRC in her opening address to the HRC, “Afghan activists on the ground, my colleagues on the ground, who face direct threats to their lives and the lives of their families, demand better, while they have everything to lose by putting this ask forward […] Many I speak to in Afghanistan already fear that they may not have a tomorrow. In our worst moment, we call on you to do better.” 

    LIST OF SIGNATORIES:

    1. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission 
    2. Amnesty International
    3. ARTICLE 19
    4. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
    5. Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
    6. Australian Centre for International Justice
    7. Australian Human Rights Institute
    8. AWID (Association for Women's Rights in Development)
    9. Cairo Institute For Human Rights Studies
    10. Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
    11. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)
    12. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
    13. Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH)  
    14. Committee to Protect Journalists 
    15. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
    16. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
    17. DEMAS – Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights
    18. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
    19. FOKUS Forum for women and development
    20. Forum Menschenrechte
    21. Free Press Unlimited
    22. FRI - Foreningen for kjønns- og seksualitetsmangfold
    23. Front Line Defenders 
    24. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect 
    25. HelpAge International
    26. Human Rights Now
    27. Human Rights Watch
    28. Humanists International
    29. International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute
    30. International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
    31. International Commission of Jurists
    32. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
    33. International Federation on Ageing
    34. International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR)
    35. International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
    36. International Service for Human Rights
    37. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
    38. La Strada International
    39. Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)
    40. Minority Rights Group International
    41. No Peace Without Justice
    42. Norwegian Helsinki Committee
    43. Norwegian Humanist Association
    44. Rafto Foundation for Human Rights
    45. Right Livelihood
    46. Scholars at Risk
    47. The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
    48. The Norwegian Human Rights Fund
    49. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
    50. VOICE Australia
    51. WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform
    52. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
    53. Women's Refugee Commission
    54. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

     

  • Over 390 orgs urge Australian government to protect Afghan civil society

    More than 390 civil society organisations from over 60 countries call on the government of Australia and other governments to ease travel requirements and processes for human rights defenders and representatives of civil society fleeing Afghanistan.

    We the undersigned, civil society organisations from different regions of the world, write to you in connection with the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, that followed the collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s government. We are writing because of the urgency required from the international community to support human rights defenders, representatives of civil society, and journalists who are trying to flee Afghanistan to escape the potentially violent actions of the Taliban.  In the coming weeks, there are huge concerns that any progress made in the achievements of human rights over the last 20 years in Afghanistan will be swiftly eroded.  

    As you are aware, human rights defenders, particularly those who defend the rights of women, journalists and those associated with civil society groups have been subjected to violent attacks, threats and intimidation by the Taliban.  Over the past several years, CIVICUS and other human rights organisations have documented these attacks and the state of utmost impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. The Afghan Human Rights Defenders’ Committee (AHRDC) recently reported that 17 human rights defenders were killed between September 2020 and May 2021 alone.  Over 200 human rights defenders and media representatives reported receiving serious threats. In light of the present conflict conditions and political instability, these threats have magnified.

    The Taliban have a track record of abusing human rights and attacking civilians with impunity.  Women and children have borne the brunt of these attacks and many have been prevented from working and have limited access to education and healthcare.  The statement by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres of 16 August 2021 urging the international community to speak with one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan is a step in the right direction. We also note the concerns expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights about early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women.

    As is expected, many human rights defenders are trying to leave the country and we have received reports that some are being prevented from boarding planes as foreign missions have prioritised evacuating their own nations and staff. Others have gone into hiding and fear for their lives and others are waiting for the inevitable to happen to them.  Women who have campaigned for years for equal rights and equal participation in public spaces including the peace process have faced reprisals. 

    We note reports that at least 3000 Afghan refugees will be able to move to Australia in the next ten months and that Afghan visa holders currently in Australia will not be asked to return to Afghanistan while their security is at risk. However, much more needs to be done. The international community has a responsibility under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect the rights of Afghans and one way of doing so is to provide a safe passage to those whose lives are at risk if they stay in Afghanistan. 

    Honourable Prime Minister, we urge your government to hold urgent conversations with relevant Ministries in Australia to develop a National Action Plan to guide Australia’s response to the Afghan crisis.  

    We request that you prioritise the following actions in the action plan; 

    • Publicly call on the Taliban to respect human rights, including the rights of girls and women and fundamental freedoms in line with international human rights law and standards.
    • Prioritise providing safe passage and travel documents for Afghans at heightened risk of persecution from the Taliban because of their past work or status, along with their immediate family members.
    • Urge Australian embassies and missions across the world to ease the travel requirements for human rights defenders and representatives from civil society from Afghanistan who may be seeking to travel to Australia. 
    • Create an enabling environment in Australia conducive for all Afghans  who flee  recover from the psychosocial pressures they endured in Afghanistan and the anxieties they may experience settling in a new country 
    • Pledge new support for civil society groups inside and outside of Afghanistan that assist with refugee resettlement, and otherwise promote humanitarian and human rights needs. 
    • Support the creation of an independent and gender-sensitive investigative and accountability mechanism at the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Session on Afghanistan scheduled for 24 August 2021 

    Signatories:

    1. #TrustYourStruggleMovement
    2. ABAC
    3. Abraham's Children Foundation
    4. ACAT TOGO
    5. Accountability Lab
    6. ACDIEF
    7. ACP-DYSS
    8. ACT FOR CHANGE OU AGIR POUR LE CHANGEMENT 
    9. Action des Volontaires pour la Solidarité et le Développement AVSD
    10. Action for Community Transformation Initiative South Sudan
    11. Action for Humanity & Social Progress
    12. Action for Socio-political and Economic Change
    13. Actions Collectives pour le Développement Social, ACODES
    14. Actions for Development and Empowerment
    15. Actions pour la Lutte Contre les Injustices Sociales (ALCIS)
    16. Adult Learning Forum 
    17. Advance Centre for peace and credibility international and One Life Count Empowerment Foundation
    18. AFEDI
    19. AFeJE Bénin ONG
    20. Africa Rise Foundation 
    21. African Center for Solidarity and Mutual Aid between the Community (CASEC|ACSAC)
    22. African Development and Peace Initiative (ADPI)
    23. AFRICAN FOUNDATION FOR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (AFED)
    24. African Leaders Hub
    25. African Network of Youth Policy Experts
    26. African Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building Academy AYECBA 
    27. Afrihealth Optonet Association
    28. Agrupación Fe
    29. AJAD (Association des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement Durable)
    30. Alliance for Development and Population Services-ADEPS
    31. Alliance for Gender Justice and Human Rights
    32. ALUCHOTO
    33. Alvin tech 
    34. Amahoro Human Respect 
    35. Amani community based organization
    36. América Diversa Inc
    37. Amicale des Jeunes Chrétiens pour le Développement, AJECDE
    38. Amnesty International
    39. Angels in the Field
    40. Anuesp
    41. APPUI SOLIDAIRE POUR LE RENFORCEMENT DE L AIDE AU DEVELOPPEMENT
    42. Arcfrancis Foundation
    43. AROHI
    44. ARPE
    45. Asaasiam Vision International
    46. Asian Academy for Peace, Research and Development
    47. Asociación Civil, Colectivo para la Participación de la Infancia y Juventud 
    48. Asociacion Desplazada Nuevo Renacer
    49. Asociación Unión de Talleres 11 de Septiembre 
    50. Association des Amis de la Nature 
    51. Association des Jeunes pour le Développement et la Protection des Droits de l'Homme
    52. Association for Advancement of Human Rights 
    53. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development 
    54. Association for Reproductive and Family Health Burundi 
    55. Association Nigérienne pour la Démocratie et la gouvernance inclusive
    56. Association pour les victimes du monde
    57. Badhon ManobUnnayan Sangstha
    58. Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)     
    59. Banlieues Du Monde Mauritanie 
    60. Bareedo Platform Somalia 
    61. Beautiful Hearts NGO
    62. Benimbuto
    63. BIHDP
    64. Biso peuple
    65. BOACSE TANZANIA
    66. Breaking Out Mental Health
    67. Brothers keeper NGO
    68. Burundi Child Rights Coalition (BCRC)
    69. CA Comrades Association Namibia
    70. CAHURAST, Nepal
    71. Campaña Defender la Libertad: Asunto de Todas
    72. Capellanes Conacce
    73. Care for Social Welfare International 
    74. CareMe E-clinic
    75. Center for civil society development PROTECTA
    76. Center for Communities Education and Youth Development
    77. Center for Public Health Laws Social Economic Rights and Advocacy
    78. Center for Social Integrity 
    79. Centre d’Actions pour le Développement 
    80. Centre de support aux personnes handicapées
    81. Centre for environment, media and development communication
    82. Centre for Good Governance and Social Justice
    83. Centre for Inclusion and Empowerment
    84. Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ)
    85. Centre for Social Mobilization and Sustainable Development(CENSODEV)
    86. Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa
    87. Centre Oecuménique pour la Promotion du Monde Rural
    88. Centro Cultural Equidad y Género
    89. Centro de Análisis Político
    90. Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local
    91. Cercle de Réflexion sur le Développement Humain et les Changements Climatiques CERDHUCC
    92. CFF-Ghana 
    93. CHALLENGES International
    94. Chambre Transversale des Jeunes Entrepreneurs du Burundi
    95. CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING FOR PEACE(CYPLP)
    96. Children and Youth for Peace Agency - Sierra Leone (CYPA-SL)
    97. Chinland Development Network CDN Myanmar, and Pyinkhonegyi Phunsang Pawlkom -3P
    98. Civic Engagement Initiatives Trust
    99. CIVICUS
    100. Centre International de Formation des de l'homme pour le Développement  de Kisangani, Province de la Tshopo
    101. Climate Tracker 
    102. CO-OPERATIVE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
    103. Coalition des organisations pour la promotion des droits des travailleurs de sexe et transgenre
    104. Coalition of youth organizations SEGA
    105. Colectivo Jóvenes Por El Cambio
    106. Colectivo Seres, A.C.
    107. Commission internationale des droits de l'homme au Tchad
    108. Commission on Human Rights
    109. Community Development Foundation
    110. Community for Peace Foundation(COPEF)
    111. Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia
    112. Community Support Center / CSC-Asbl
    113. Comunidad de Organizaciones Solidarias
    114. Connecticut Institute for Social Entrepreneurship
    115. Connecting Gender for Development 
    116. Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations
    117. Construisons Ensemble le monde
    118. consultando soluciones
    119. ControlaTuGobierno A.C.
    120. Convention Nationale pour le Dialogue et le Règlement Pacifique des conflits au Tchad _CONDIRECT 
    121. COSAD BENIN
    122. Crisis Resolving Centre (CRC) 
    123. DAKILA
    124. Determined Society Organization
    125. Development and Service Centre (DESC)
    126. Differentabilities
    127. Digital Rights Activist 
    128. Earthforce Fight Squad NGO
    129. East Eagle Foundation
    130. Ecology Africa Foundation
    131. Edtech for Africa 
    132. EJO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
    133. ELOSAN VISION
    134. Entaxis - Action for inclusion and Education
    135. Equality Rights Africa Organization
    136. Espérance Mères et Enfants en RDC "EME-RDC"
    137. Ethiopian Initiative for Human Rights 
    138. Euphrates Institute-Liberia
    139. Euro-Mediterranean Resources Network
    140. Fair Africa
    141. FAMA
    142. Family Visions Child Trust
    143. FEDERACION PROVINCIAL DE ORGANIZACIONES CAMPESINAS DE ZAMORA CHINCHIPE
    144. Fédération des ONG de la région du Goh
    145. Feminist Centre 
    146. Fight Against Aids Guinee West Africa
    147. FINESTE
    148. Forums Territorial de la Jeunesse Martiniquaise 
    149. Fraternity Foundation For Human Rights 
    150. FSM Alliance of NGOs (FANGO) 
    151. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual
    152. Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo
    153. Fundación Ecuatoriana Equidad
    154. Fundación T.E.A. Trabajo, Educación, Ambiente
    155. Fundación Váyalo
    156. Fundimma
    157. Future leaders Society
    158. Gender Accountability for Peace and Security 
    159. Gender Equality Club
    160. Ghana Youth Environmental Movement
    161. Gibson Chisale
    162. Gidan Dutse Multipurpose Concept 
    163. Give Hope Uganda
    164. Global Participe
    165. Global Socio-economic and Financial Evolution Network (GSFEN)
    166. Global Young Greens
    167. Golden Change for Concerned Youth Forum
    168. Grassroot Development Support and Rural Enlightenment Initiative
    169. Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association-GURRA
    170. H.E.R.O.
    171. Haakro Welfare Association
    172. HAKI Africa
    173. Halley Movement Coalition
    174. Hamdam Foundation
    175. Hear Their Voice International (HTVI)
    176. Hidden and Emerging Treasures Initiative
    177. Hondureños Contra el SIDA
    178. Hope for Vulnerable Children Association
    179. Hope Porters Foundation 
    180. Hope Worldwide-Pakistan 
    181. Hub Ciencia Emprende
    182. Human Rights
    183. HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement 
    184. I BAMBINI DELL 'AFRICA ONLUS
    185. IAW
    186. ICCA asbl(Icirore C'Amahoro asbl)
    187. ICYE Nigeria
    188. IDA Rwanda
    189. Ikage
    190. Imbali Western Cape and Adult Learning Forum
    191. Inclusive Bangladesh
    192. Independent humanitarian worker
    193. India Youth For Society
    194. Infinite hope for vulnerable Africa
    195. Initiatives des Femmes en Situations Difficiles pour le Développement Durable et Intégré, IFESIDDI
    196. Innpactia
    197. Inspirers
    198. Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
    199. Institute of Youth, women welfare
    200. Instituto de asilencia para adictos a.c.
    201. Instituto de Educación Cibernética Automotriz Robótica y Electrónica 
    202. Integrated Agricultural Association (I.A.A)
    203. Intelligent initiative for Peace & Security Consciousness  
    204. INTER-ACTIONS ONG
    205. Intercedes youth empowerment
    206. International Association for Migrant Support
    207. International Association for Political Science Students
    208. International Development Opportunity Initiative
    209. International Human Rights Council 
    210. International Society for Peace and Safety 
    211. Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms
    212. Jade Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo, A.C.
    213. Jesmak health & Safety Center
    214. Jesus Vazquez Garcia
    215. JEUNES LEADER DU MALI
    216. Jeunesse Assistance
    217. Justice Call
    218. Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons
    219. JusticeMakers Bangladesh 
    220. Kadiwaku Foundation
    221. Kanika Khurana
    222. kathak academy(KA)UNCSO(ECOSOC)
    223. Kenneth and Jacob's House
    224. Kijana Hai Foundation 
    225. KITUMAINI ASBL
    226. Knit Together Initiative 
    227. Koneta 
    228. Kwapda'as Road Safety Demand Foundation
    229. Lamu coastal indigenous people's rights for development (LCIPRD)
    230. Leaders for Leaders Champion 
    231. Leadership Development Association Bangladesh
    232. Liberia Sexual Gender Base Violence Movement LSGBV 
    233. Ligue Burundaise des droits de l'homme Iteka
    234. Local Communities Development Initiative 
    235. LOCAL SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES ORGANISATION (LOSCO)
    236. Locate i
    237. Love Alliance Foundation for Orphans, Disabled and Abandoned Persons in Nigeria 
    238. Lupus Initiative Uganda 
    239. Lutheran world federation
    240. Mahatma phule samaj seva mandal 
    241. Manica Youth Assembly 
    242. Masombo The Life/NGO
    243. Mémorial des victimes des conflits armés en République Démocratique du Congo
    244. Men 4 Equality
    245. MENA Research and Conferences
    246. Mercy Sisters 
    247. Merowa junior school Kampala
    248. Mike’s New Generation Vision
    249. MILES CHILE
    250. Mouvement Citoyen Ras-Le-Bol
    251. Mouvement INAMAHORO, Femmes & Filles pour la Paix & la Securite
    252. Movilizatorio
    253. Movimiento Juvenil Indígena de la Moskitia - Mark Rivas (MOJIMM) 
    254. MPS GABON
    255. MUDDH - MOVIMIENTO UNIDO POR LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS
    256. Municipal youth network-Nepal
    257. MUP'S COMMUNICATION
    258. Ñañaykuna
    259. National  Women Sudanese Association
    260. National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO)
    261. National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
    262. NEW ERA MOVEMENT
    263. NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN)
    264. Nigeria Youth SDGs Network
    265. Nigerian Global Affairs Council
    266. Noem Elderly Iutreach Uganda
    267. North Rift Human Rights Network
    268. North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS)
    269. Northern Initiative for Community Empowerment
    270. Nouveaux Droits de l'homme Congo Brazzaville
    271. Observatoire National pour la Démocratie et l’Environnement ONADE
    272. Oil Refinery Residents Association
    273. Onelife Initiative for Human Development
    274. ONG ADOKA
    275. ONG CRI DES JEUNES ET FEMMES VULNERABLES, CJFV.
    276. ONG Good Neighbors
    277. ONG ICON Niger 
    278. ONG ITODJU
    279. ONG María Acoge
    280. Organisation Internationale des volontaires des Nations Unies 
    281. Organisation pour la protection des droits de l'homme 
    282. Organizando Trans Diversidades (Asociación OTD Chile)
    283. Organization of the Justice Campaign
    284. OTRANS-RN 
    285. Otro Tiempo México AC
    286. Pahel Pakistan 
    287. Pan - African Peacemakers Alliance (PAPA)
    288. PARIVARTHANA
    289. PAWA - Pacific Australian Womens Association
    290. Peace Education and Practice Network (PEPNET)
    291. People's health movement
    292. People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
    293. Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP)
    294. PJUD-BENIN ONG
    295. Plateforme des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance 
    296. Plateforme nationale des organisations de la société civile pour la lutte contre le VIH et Tuberculose 
    297. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (PDI)
    298. Programme d'Appui à la Lutte contre la Pauvreté pour l'Emergence et la Restauration d'un développement durable
    299. Progressive Single Mothers Network
    300. Red de Desaparecidos en Tamaulipas 
    301. REDECIM
    302. Redemption Research for Health and Educational Development Society(RRHEDS)
    303. Redlad
    304. REFUGEES PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR PEACE-RPP 
    305. Regional Network of Children and Young People Trust 
    306. Réseau des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l'Observation et le Suivi des Élections en Guinée (ROSE) 
    307. Réseau Nigérien Anti-Corruption
    308. RIHRDO (Rural Infrastructure and Human Resource Development Organization )
    309. Rising Winners Youth Empowerment Initiative (RWYEI)
    310. RNDDH
    311. Rotary Club of Alabang Madrigal Business Park
    312. RUKIGA FORUM FOR DEVELOPMENT (RUFODE)
    313. Rural Development Foundation
    314. Ryht Group 
    315. Safe employee and volunteer
    316. Sahiba Foundation
    317. SAPI Child international
    318. Save the Climat
    319. Savie asbl NGO LGBTIQ PGEL Congo DRC
    320. Sehzoor Life Organization 
    321. Service Workers In Group Foundation Uganda 
    322. Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care
    323. She & Peer
    324. Shibganj Integrated Development Society
    325. Sierra Leone School Green Clubs (SLSGC)
    326. Sierra Leone Unites
    327. Siyakholwa Support Care Centre 
    328. Social Action For Empowerment and Relief 
    329. Social democracy movement 
    330. Social Voice Networking Forum - Pakistan
    331. Société Civile Engagée 
    332. Somali Action for Transformation (Somact)
    333. SOPEVUDECO ASBL
    334. SORETO
    335. SOS Jeunesse et Enfance en Détresse " SOS JED
    336. Sout To Support Women's Rights 
    337. South African National Civic Organisation
    338. South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO)
    339. Southwest Genesis Consultancy
    340. Swabalambee Foundation
    341. TARGET 4.7 Education for Global Citizenship & Sustainability 
    342. Tariro Foundation of Zimbabwe Trust
    343. The Environment Ameliorators
    344. The Institute of Caribbean Studies/SMART Futures Movement 
    345. The Young Republic
    346. Timely performance care center
    347. Today for tomorrow foundation
    348. Tomorrow for human rights 
    349. Toto Centre Initiative 
    350. Tournonslapage 
    351. Tremendas Panamá 
    352. Uganda Diversity Network
    353. UGONMA FOUNDATION
    354. Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative
    355. Umbrella for Journalists in Kasese (UJK)
    356. UN SDGs Programme
    357. Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social - UNITAS 
    358. United nations Youth Association-Ghana
    359. United World Against Diabetes 
    360. Universal Union For Consumer Protection and Civil Abuse "UNUCOPCA" NGO
    361. University of Western Cape
    362. VEILLE CITOYENNE TOGO 
    363. Venezuela Diversa AC
    364. VIE +
    365. Vivace Youth  Centre 
    366. Volunteer Activists
    367. Warembo Forum
    368. Welfare Taskforce for Malaysian Students Abroad
    369. WELFARE TOGO
    370. West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)
    371. Western Youth Empire 
    372. Women and Children Empowerment Network-South Africa
    373. Women in Action-WINA
    374. WOMEN WITHOUT POVERTY (WOWIPO) 
    375. World Mission Agency
    376. World Youth Union S/L
    377. YACAP INTERNATIONAL
    378. YES We Can
    379. yesaid society (Kenya)
    380. Young African change makers
    381. YOUNG AFRICAN FIGHTERS ORGANIZATION 
    382. Young Men Association
    383. Youth Advocacy Network
    384. Youth Advocates for Change
    385. Youth Against Drug Abuse YADA International 
    386. Youth Arm Org
    387. Youth Association of Sierra Leone
    388. Youth Development Initiative Trust 
    389. Youth Enrichment for Success
    390. Youth for the Mission
    391. Youth Forum for Social Justice
    392. Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana
    393. Youth innovation centre 
    394. Youth Leadership Parliament, Nigeria
    395. Youth Network for Positive Change

     

  • Statement: Afghanistan's adoption of Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights

    41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council

    Afghanistan Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) and CIVICUS welcome the government of Afghanistan's engagement with the UPR process. However, we regret the lack of progress by the Government in implementing the civic space recommendations during the last UPR review, including to ensure effective investigations and accountability of abuse against journalists. Abuses against human rights defenders and journalists continues with impunity. Alarmingly, state institutions have also been implicated in some abuses against media.

    During 2018, Afghanistan was the deadliest country for media, with 15 journalists and other media workers killed. In the first five months of 2019, at least five Afghan journalists and media workers were killed and a number of others have been critically wounded in deliberate attacks. We are deeply worried by the recent public threat of attacks issued by the Taliban against media. We call on the Government to stand by the rights of journalists and to protect them as parties negotiate an end to the war.

    We note that the Government has taken steps this year to end impunity for the murder of journalists by bringing to trial two cases – that of BBC journalist Ahmad Shah and Kabul News journalist Abdul Manan Arghand, who were both killed in 2018 by unidentified armed men. However, both trials lacked transparency and death sentences were handed to the perpetrators, which are serious human rights concerns. 

    Women, victims’ groups and other CSOs have all been sidelined throughout the peace process, representing a significant threat to civic space. We call on the Government to ensure women and independent CSOs have a seat at the negotiation table and meaningfully participate in decision-making. It is the responsibility of the Afghan Government to ensure that women’s rights, victims’ rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghans are protected and respected during all stages of the peace process and in any peace deal.

    Mr President, AHRO and CIVICUS call on the Government of Afghanistan to take proactive measures to address these concerns and implement these recommendations to create and maintain, in law and in practice, an enabling environment for civil society, including women’s groups and journalists.

     

  • Statement: Countries of concern at the UN Human Rights Council

    41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
    Interactive Dialogue on Countries of Concern

    CIVICUS is deeply concerned by the grave situation in Sudan, and we call once again on the Council to take immediate steps to address this crisis, at the very least by establishing a fact-finding mission to monitor, verify and report on the situation to prevent further bloodshed and ensure that the perpetrators of these atrocities are held to account.

    In Saudi Arabia, human rights defenders face continued unwarranted detention. A wave of further arrests in April targeted those supporting the women’s rights movement and detained activists.  Saudi Arabia is not above Human Rights Council scrutiny and we reiterate calls on the Council to establish a monitoring mechanism over human rights violations in the country and call explicitly for the immediate and unconditional release of the detained Saudi women human rights defenders.

    In Guatemala, human rights defenders are being criminalized and harassed. Cases filed against Claudia Samoyoa Pineda and Jose Martinez Cabrera is illustrative of the authorities’ growing intolerance of independent dissent, including of those working on land and environmental defense. This is just one example of targeted reprisals levelled against civil society organisations and human rights defenders that have mobilised against a series of attacks on Guatemala's democratic institutional framework.

    Civic space in Afghanistan remains under serious threat. Violence against human rights defenders and journalists continues with impunity and state actors also have been implicated in violations against journalists. Women, civil society and victim's groups have been excluded from the peace processes, which threatens to undermine all hard-won gains. 

    Lastly, we are deeply concerned at the situation in the Philippines. Despite progress on a bill to protect human rights defenders, the situation on the ground remains dire. Dozens of activists have been killed since 2016 under the Duterte administration and the work of CSOs, media and human rights defenders have been severely undermined by smear campaigns by the government.

    We call on the Council’s continued attention to, and call for urgent action on, these issues of serious concern.

     

  • UN must address crises in Afghanistan and Cambodia, and commit to strengthening equal participation

    Statement at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

    Delivered by Lisa Majumdar

    Thank you, Madame President.

    We welcome that the High Commissioner raised the appalling situation for environmental human rights defenders and we call on the Council to address violations against all human rights defenders across the globe. Participation of civil society without fear of reprisal is vital to working collaboratively towards solutions to all human rights concerns.

    We further call on the Council this Session to strengthen equal participation by addressing repression of civic space and the rollback of democratic freedoms in response to the COVID pandemic. This includes particularly violations of access to information and freedoms of expression and assembly through internet shutdowns, and in the context of elections.

    We welcome the High Commissioner’s update on Afghanistan and reiterate a call for the Council to create a gender-sensitive, independent investigative mechanism. The courage of those calling for justice on the ground, at grave personal risk, cannot be overstated and it is vital that their efforts be supported by the international community.

    In Nicaragua, we call for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained political opposition leaders, human rights defenders and journalists, and for overdue electoral reforms. We welcome the High Commissioner’s update on Sri Lanka; ongoing shrinking civic space in the country undermines claims of reconciliation and accountability efforts.

    On Cambodia, in the midst of a dramatically worsening human rights situation including persisting restrictions on civic space and the repression of dissent, and ahead of elections scheduled for 2022 and 2023, it is imperative that the Council this session takes action to adequately address violations through mandating monitoring and reporting by the High Commissioner.

    We thank you.


    Civic space in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Nicaragua is rated as repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor.