The creation and maintenance of a safe and enabling environment for civil society, based on good practices – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Human Rights Council beseeched the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a compendium of feasible recommendations for the creation and preservation of an enabling and safe environment for the civil society, based on good practices and lessons learned.

A variety of rights were brought up, such as freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association, as well as freedom of peaceful assembly.

Among the high points of this reports we can highlight

The mention of the general comment 43 (2011) of the Human Rights Committee that states that “a free, uncensored and unhindered press or other media is essential in any society to ensure freedom of opinion and expression and the enjoyment of other rights contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; it constitutes one of the cornerstones of a democratic society.”

Also, concerning freedom of association the report mentions that “minimal legal and administrative provisions, favouring simple notification to a neutral body and available to all at little or no cost, with no compulsory registration requirement for basic operations, best encourage a diverse and independent civil society”.

Regarding freedom of peaceful assembly the report makes a presumption that assembly will be peaceful, explicitly established by law, as in Armenia and Romania, is recognized good practice, as are laws that specify that everyone has the right to organize and participate in meetings and demonstrations without a permit and that no prior authorization is required.

The report mention as well the right to freedom of opinion and expression and to peacefully assembly and association and the right to participate in public affairs, together with the principle of non-discrimination serve as vehicles for civic activity. It is through the safe and free exercise of these human rights that people are able to contribute to political, social, cultural, and economic, development.

According to the report, the participation of the civil society for the realisation of HR requires supportive legal framework and effective access to justice, conductive public and political environment, access to information, participation in policy development with planning and decision-making,consultation processes and public funding.

OIDEL was happy to see the mentioning to Human Rights Education. The report expresses that the human rights education organizations ask for the equipment of children and young people with skills and information to help contribute to the civil society. When teachers receive ongoing training in civic or human rights, it benefits the educators, which encourages tolerance and values diversity. Empowering women and girls through programmes to consolidate skills, and furnish a safe and a favorable environment where women can receive advice on human rights and training in business and technical support.

Remarkably, the report lacks the mention of the role of civil society in the provision of the right to education. OIDEL is going to participate in the General Debate next Monday during the 32th Human Rights Council to express our point of view.

If you would like to know about this report, you can access to this link:http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/32/20

 

Tino D’Arpa

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