19 January 2007
How can civil society organisations become more accountable and transparent? How can activists and organisations best protect their rights to exist? These are just some of the questions a delegation of CIVICUS staff and partners will be discussing during workshops at this year’s World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya 20-25 January.
Over 100,000 activists are expected to come together to exclaim, for the 7th time, “Another World is Possible,” and more importantly, to discuss ways of making it happen. The WSF typically examines the most pressing issues currently facing civil society – accountability and the growing restrictions on activism are expected to top the agenda.
“The growing influence and prominence of civil society has met with a fierce backlash,” said Kumi Naidoo, CIVICUS Secretary General. “Under the guise of the so-called “war on terror,” both democratic and repressive governments alike have introduced restrictions on civil society activities, threatening their very existence.”
“Governments are increasingly questioning the legitimacy, transparency, and accountability of civil society organisations at local and global levels,” said Naidoo. “These challenges are real, and we must respond to them with integrity and honesty.”
CIVICUS invites all participants of the WSF to attend its two workshops and voice their opinions on these important issues. Please see below for details.
A Global Charter on Civil Society Rights – Is it possible?
11:30 - 14:00, Terrain A – 4
The space for civil society to operate is rapidly shrinking - does civil society require international protection? The workshop will examine whether such a “Charter” is needed, and whether it would be effective in protecting civil society’s freedoms of association, assembly and expression.
Civil Society Organisations under the Accountability Spotlight – Walk the line
17:30 - 20:00, Terrain 6 – IN Upper
The workshop will discuss the importance of accountability for organisations and the challenges they face in creating related mechanisms – based on the findings of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index study of 54 countries. The workshop will introduce the International Non-Governmental Organisations Accountability Charter as an example of a concrete civil society initiative to address accountability challenges.
For more information please contact:
Contact in Nairobi, Kenya:
Diana Eltahawy, CS Networks Coordinator at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
Clare Doube, Civil Society Watch Manager at +27 72 236 3260 or e-mail at email@example.com
Contact in South Africa:
Eric Muragana, CIVICUS Communications Associate at +27 11 833 5959 x.136 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.