HRC38 | Member States should support resolution protecting civil society space

04.07.2018

ISHR and 18 organisations call on Human Rights Council Member States to support the draft resolution ‘Civil society space: engagement with international and regional organisations’ to be considered for adoption during the 38th session of the Human Rights Council. 

The organisations urged Council Member States to send a clear message of support to civil society, by co-sponsoring the draft resolution as tabled, rejecting any attempts to undermine this draft resolution, and voting in favour of the resolution if a vote is called.

The resolution is presented by a cross-regional group of States (Chile, Ireland, Japan, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia) and was developed through broad consultation with States and civil society.

It focuses on civil society engagement with international and regional organisations and builds on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report which affirmed that civil society participation provides a critical contribution to the prevention of violence, insecurity and, in turn, conflict.

The text of the resolution, as tabled, is a substantive contribution to the Council’s previous work on protecting civil society space. In particular, the text:

  • Recognises the essential contribution that civil society makes to international and regional organisations and that the effective functioning of the regional and international human rights mechanisms and bodies is inexorably linked to civil society participation
  • Emphasises the crucial importance of the active involvement of civil society in promoting good governance and its indispensable role in building peaceful and democratic societies 
  • Recognises the importance of strengthening a diverse and pluralistic civil society and provides useful guidance for States and organisations to ensure that their policies ensure support to diversity of civil society participation
  • Encourages UN bodies to review and update their frameworks for engagement with civil society to reflect and respond to the challenges and to support improved civil society engagement with international and regional mechanisms
  • Provides useful guidance for States and organisations to review and update their national frameworks for engagement with civil society to ensure their full and effective participation including access to information and access to resources
  • Calls on States to prevent all threats, attacks, reprisals and acts of intimidation against civil society actors and to ensure access to justice and accountability
  • Creates opportunities and incentives for States to voluntarily share and develop their good practices on guaranteeing a safe and enabling environment for civil society

The organisations urged Council Member States to vote against adverse amendments that would weaken the resolution by restricting rather than safeguarding space for civil society. 

Read the full letter here

 
 
Contact: Salma El Hosseiny: s.hosseiny@ishr.ch 
 
Photo: ISHR