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Have Your Say in Safeguarding Civic Space

As reported earlier, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is putting together a report of practical recommendations on how to create and maintain a safe and enabling operating and legal environment for civil society. The report will be submitted to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session.

To facilitate this process, ECNL together with Article 19 and Amnesty International UK organized a one-day consultation meeting to gather opinions and provide input to the upcoming UN OHCHR practical recommendations. As one of the series of regional consultations on this initiative, the event on November 3 in London sought input from around 30 experts from development, human rights organizations and networks from around Europe as well as journalists and academics engaged in the issue. The UN OHCHR office also joined the discussions via skype.

The debate elicited innovative and dynamic suggestions and examples on how civic space can be promoted and protected by national, regional and international actors. The conclusions from the discussion have been summarized by ECNL and shared with the OHCHR to be considered as they are drafting the recommendations, which will support the implementation of freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of expression and public participation in UN member states.

Read the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution mandating the OHCHR to seek input from stakeholders here.