CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

WORLD SOCIAL FORUM 2011: CIVIL SOCIETY DISCUSS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN AFRICA

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 3, 2011

By Abubacarr Saidykhan, Dakar- Senegal

At the 11th Edition of the World Social Forum in Dakar- Senegal, within the campus of Cheikh Anta Diop University and at the section responsible for the faculty of Science- Economy, a civil society organisation, CIVICUS, an International alliance dedicated to strengthening citizens’ action and civil society throughout the world organised a workshop for civil society members to discuss the way forward for the civil society and human right Defenders in all African countries.

In a presentation during the gathering, it was informed that the last few years and especially in 2009 and 2010 have been particularly hard for civil society and human right defenders. It is said that negative global trends that began soon after 9/11 have come to a head as governments continued to encroach on fundamental freedoms through harsh security measures and other legal and policy restrictions.

As highlighted by the civil society watchdog groups in the session, the UN human rights bodies and other close observers confirmed that the trend began soon after the 9/11 when the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 call on all UN member states to take concrete steps to tackle terrorism. The delegates believe that the intention behind the resolution to protect innocent civilians and state structures from mindless acts of terrorism may have been sound, but the negative consequences on fundamental freedoms, including the rights of civil society actors have been devastating as governments used the climate of fear to dilute civil liberties, reduce personal privacy, lower trial standard and restrict the free movement of people across borders. Moreover, the delegates believed that the ability of citizens and civil society to express democratic dissent has been severely curtailed through a clampdown on the freedoms of expression, association and assembly in the global north as well as the south.

Speaking on behalf of his organisation, David Kode, the Policy Officer for CIVICUS: World Alliance For Citizen Participation in South Africa, who gave an overview of the whole discussion said, CIVICUS has experienced a trend over the years which is dangerous. She said there is an attack on civil society organisations in many ways in Africa. He said there are six major ways in which Governments attack on civil organisations in their promulgations of laws and regulations. He said intimidation and harassment of human right activists was one of the ways used by governments to get rid of civil society organisations. He said the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also assured them of the importance of the role played by civil society organisations despite the threats involved.

Megan MacGarry Convening Officer for CIVICUS International in Johannesburg South Africa noted that many things are getting worse for civil society members in Africa. She said there are lots of evidence that clearly show the difficulties encountered by civil society activists. She said in India the fundamental rights of her people are controlled by the Government; adding that they need real laws to make their work smooth.

Bhekinkosi Moyo the Program Director of Trust Africa from South Africa and base in Senegal, who talked about the Civil Society Role in Africa , said the main role of the civil societies is to see the issues of democratic governance. He said as civil society campaigners, they understand the whole issues of harassment before starting the campaign. He said the attack on the civil organisation is not only done by government, but also private society. He said it is unfortunate that our brothers as our own government officials used most of these undemocratic intimidations against us in our own countries.

He said right to association, assembly and to expression are all rights that need not to be registered before operations, noting that having an open society in any country is of a paramount interest. He said the role of journalists, Human right Defenders is to call on government to be accountable and also to be transparent in issues that are directly dealing with the lives of the people. He said many governments see the civil society as a threat to government functions; noting that there should be always dialogue between these two groups.

 

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Press Statement: CIVICUS condemns crackdown on Civil Society in Bahrain

Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 13, 2010

  

Johannesburg. 10 December 2010. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is deeply concerned about the deteriorating operating environment for civil society in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The past few months have been marred by growing intolerance towards dissenters, which began in the run up to the October elections and continues in the post election phase.

Authorities in Bahrain are waging a relentless campaign against activists whose views are not in line with the official position. Currently, 24 prominent human rights defenders are facing trial under Bahrains anti-terrorism laws. They have been charged with collaborating with foreign organisations and circulating false information. They have also been accused of forming terrorist networks, destruction of public and private property and defaming the authorities.

The arrested activists have complained about torture and abuse meted out to them by the National Security Agency. They have so far appeared in court on four occasions and the next hearing has been scheduled for 23 December. During their first appearance in court on 27 October, detainees informed the court that while in detention they were beaten, electrocuted, verbally and physically assaulted and denied adequate sleep. Those detained were not allowed access to legal representation during interrogation and some family members did not know where they were being detained for two weeks after their arrest. It has also been reported that prior to, during and after the elections about 350 other activists have been arrested.

In a worrying trend, it has become commonplace in Bahrain to arrest activists for writing articles and delivering speeches which are critical of the governments discriminatory policies and official corruption, said Netsanet Belay, CIVICUS Director of Policy and Research. Persecution and torture of public-spirited individuals offering legitimate criticism against official policies and the clampdown on their organisations amounts to a repudiation of Bahrains accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture.

The Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), a CIVICUS partner for the Civil Society Index and one of the few remaining independent groups striving for the protection of civil and political freedoms in the country, has been targeted in the recent crackdown. On 6 September, the Ministry of Social Development issued an order to dissolve the Board of the BHRS and went ahead to appoint an administrator  an employee from the Ministry  to lead the BHRS. The BHRS has had to go to court in response to these arbitrary actions and its fate currently depends on the courts response. The first hearing of the case scheduled for 26 October has been postponed to 4 January 2011.

According to Abdullah Aldorazi of BHRS, the unfair order issued by the Ministry of Social Development to dissolve the Board of the BHRS is a security strategy aimed at preventing the documentation of atrocities carried out by the authorities during the crackdown and preventing families of the detainees from using the society as a safe haven.

CIVICUS urges the authorities of the Kingdom of Bahrain to live up to their commitments under international law and guarantee civil society the space to freely express, associate and assemble.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a global movement of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. The Civil Society Watch (CSW) Project of CIVICUS tracks threats to civil society freedoms of expression, association and assembly across the world.

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CSI’s Impact in Uruguay’s National Media

Posted by civilsocietyindex on May 21, 2010

El Pais, one of the major newspapers in Uruguay, has reflected in one of its articles the CSI findings on the state of Uruguay’s civil society.

Please access the entire article by clicking here.

Uruguay: repercusión en los medios nacionales del ISC.

El periódico El País de Uruguay, reflejo en una interesante nota algunos de los hallazgos del Índice de la sociedad Civil (ISC) en ese país. El pasado Viernes, el Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD), quien fue el encargado de coordinar la confección del índice a nivel nacional, presento el resultado de mas de un año de investigación sobre el estado de la sociedad civil en Uruguay.

La nota, escrita por Sebastián Auyanet, resalta que las organizaciones del la sociedad civil en Uruguay si bien alcanzan un buena organización y tienen capacidad de impacto, aun no logran la participación de demasiados ciudadanos y tienen complicaciones en cuanto a la recaudación de fondos.

Los invitamos a leer la nota completa  clickeando aqui  clicking here

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Do blogs work?

Posted by civilsocietyindex on April 22, 2010

Let us know what you think of the CSI project blog on our quick and short online survey!

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‘Examples of violence within civil society’: Essay Contest winner announced!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 3, 2010

The CSI team is delighted to announce that Anael Labigne has won the CSI Indicator Database Essay Contest and will scoop a prize of USD $500. The essay contest was opened in September 2009 to celebrate the launch of the Civil Society Index’s interactive Indicator Database, which for the first time puts together in a single place the data generated on global civil society from the 2003-2006 phase of implementation. Over 200 people have now registered for free to use the database, which is easily searchable by indicator.

Anael’s essay, titled “Examples of violence within civil society”, uses the data and information on violence generated by the Civil Society Index to contribute to the broader debate on the role of civility in ‘civil society’. Placing an emphasis on the need for empirical research to underpin conceptions of civil society, Labigne outlines that ‘instead of arguing for or against a normatively charged civility concept, I propose to evaluate the indicator of non-violence within the civil society sector arena surveyed by the CSI 2003-2006 data’.

Anael is currently a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, where his research focuses on the historical question of the role of ‘civility’ in society. On learning that he had won the award, Anael commented that:

“Working in the academic field is an ambivalent privilege. On the one hand, I do like research. On the other, it is often abstract and, especially as a young scholar, you sometimes ask yourself about the relevance of your every day work in the real world. The CIVICUS Civil Society Index is a scientific project that helps to dampen down this paradox and an essay contest gives the possibility to contribute in a more tangible way.

“I want to find out more about violence and civility in a transnational context. From a sociological point of view these are highly contested and difficult concepts. There are good reasons to differentiate between various forms of violence and this essay attempts to do just that by looking at empirical examples. Of course data does not speak for itself, but it can’t be underestimated in research. This essay and a lot of other research projects across the globe would not have been possible without CIVICUS’ commitment to this extensive Civil Society Index.”

 

Anael Labigne, Winner of the 2009 CSI Indicator Database Essay Contest

The essay contest forms one part of the CSI team’s strategy to encourage widespread empirically-based reflection on the state of civil society, as well as wider and deeper use of the findings of the Civil Society Index. 

It is expected that the data generated from the current 2008-2010 phase of implementation will be collated together in a similar database towards the end of 2010 when it becomes available.

Visit the CSI Indicator Database and register for free by clicking here.

Download Anael’s essay in full by clicking here.

Posted in CIVICUS News, CSI Impact, General Information, Media, Requests | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Let us know what you think!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 28, 2010

We want to communicate better with you, our constituency. But to do this, we need to know more about what you think of this blog. How do you use it? What could be better about it? Is there too much text, too many pictures of people in meetings? What else would you want? Opinion pieces from those working on the project? More general pieces? Or is everything just perfect?

Let us know right now by taking our CSI Blog Survey on Survey Monkey – it only takes a couple of minutes to complete!

Or write to us at index@civicus.org with your feedback or ideas on how else we could be communicating with you with what you want to know.

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Katsuji Imata “on what is missing in between”

Posted by civilsocietyindex on January 13, 2010

 

Katsuji Imata, Deputy Secretary General (Programmes) at CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, spoke recently with Anna Mazgal from OFOP, the Polish Federation of NGOs, on how civil society organisations can find common ground against a backdrop of very different global challenges.

You can read the interview in full by clicking here.

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CIVICUS Media Track Project

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 26, 2009

Dear CSI Partners,

Do you sometimes think that your civil society organisation would have been able to shed some light on the latest news story – if only you’d been asked? Do you want to make the expertise of your organisation more accessible to the media? If yes, you’ll want to take part in this initiative.

CIVICUS, in collaboration with the Inter Press Service (IPS), is developing a database to facilitate the relationship between civil society and the media. This database will contain the names and contact details for civil society organisations as well as their fields of expertise and the regions in which they work. The database will allow the media to quickly and easily find sources for their stories within civil society on a wide variety of themes.

If you would like to be part of this database, please complete the form. If you have any questions, please email us at communication@civicus.org.

Regards,
CIVICUS

__________________________________

Estimado Socio ISC,

¿Algunas veces piensa que su organización de la sociedad civil podría haber echado luz sobre las últimas historias de las noticias, si sólo le hubiesen preguntado? ¿Quiere hacer que la expertise de su organización sea más accesible a los medios de comunicación? Si es así, querrá tomar parte en esta iniciativa.

CIVICUS, en colaboración con el Inter Press Service (IPS), está desarrollando una base de datos para facilitar la relación entre la sociedad civil y los medios. Esta base de datos contendrá los nombres y datos de contacto de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil así como sus campos de expertise y las regiones en las que trabajan. La base de datos le permitirá a los medios de comunicación encontrar, rápido y fácilmente, fuentes para sus historias dentro de la sociedad civil sobre una amplia variedad de temas.

Si quiere ser parte de esta base de datos, por favor complete el formulario (en ingles). Si tiene alguna pregunta, envíenos un email a communication@civicus.org.

Saludos,
CIVICUS

________________________________

Cher Partenaire ISC,

Vous arrive-t-il de vous dire que votre organisation aurait pu apporter un complément d’information intéressant sur telle ou telle actualité – si seulement on vous l’avait demandé ? Souhaitez-vous que le savoir et l’expérience de votre organisation soit plus accessible aux médias ? Si oui, cette nouvelle initiative va vous intéresser.

CIVICUS, en collaboration avec Inter Press Service (IPS) est entrain de constituer une banque de données pour faciliter les relations entre la société civile et les médias. Elle contiendra les noms et les coordonnées des organisations de la société civile, ainsi que leurs domaines de compétences et les régions dans lesquelles elles opèrent. Elle permettra aux médias de trouver facilement et rapidement les bonnes sources.

Si vous souhaitez figurer dans cette banque de données, il suffit de remplir le formulaire. Pour toute question, n’hésitez-pas à nous envoyer un e-mail à communication@civicus.org.

Merci,
CIVICUS

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CSI-Chile obtains Bicentenary Commission’s sponsorship

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 19, 2009

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index Project in Chile, coordinated by the Fundación Soles, obtained the sponsorship of the Bicentenary Commission on 13th October 2009. With this recognition, information about the events and activities of the CSI-Chile will also be shared through the communication channels of this governmental committee.

The Bicentenary Commission is the consultant entity that advises the Presidency of the Republic about initiatives which allow the country to achieve the objectives of the commemoration of the 200 years of republican history. The Bicentenary Commission also supports organisations oriented to improving and deepening democracy in Chile.

With this award, the CSI in Chile has therefore been acknowledged as a relevant initiative that strongly supports democratic conditions, citizens’ liberties and social dialogue, in order to advance to a more integrated and just country.

Sponsored by: 

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Help CIVICUS Plan for 2010

Posted by civilsocietyindex on November 6, 2009

Is there a theme close to your heart?

A special day that represents the change you want to see in the world?

An international meeting that you think has the potential to affect our lives and the lives of people around the world?

Do you think CIVICUS needs to make it a priority for 2010?

question

Help us plan for the year ahead by identifying the TOP 5 events and TOP 5 Global meetings that you think we will need to focus on in 2010. Please complete this short survey by 12 November and make sure your voice is heard in our planning process!

Posted in CIVICUS News, Polls | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »