Friday, 12 August 2016

United Nations High Commissioner’s Report On the Enabling Environment for Civil Society

India should welcome the report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights on “Practical recommendations for the creation and maintenance of a safe and enabling environment for civil society, based on good practices and lessons learned” (A/H/32/20). 

The report highlights elements necessary for robust civil society space and sustainability of the sector.

Among other recommendations, the report calls on States to:

1.     Ensure that civil society actors can seek, receive and use funding and other resources, whether domestic or foreign, without prior authorization or other undue impediments.

2.     Ensure that all counter-terrorism measures that have an impact on civil society comply with all relevant international human rights law and standards.

3.     Demonstrate high-level political support for the independence and diversity of civic activity through public statements and public information campaigns.

4.     Recognize the right to participation in public decision-making processes in legislation, adopt new technologies and social media to solicit wider input, and increase capacity of officials to implement meaningful consultations.

5.     Develop or update a national policy framework and action plan to guide implementation of the recommendations formulated in the present report and of all international human rights law and standards relevant to civil society space.

The report also calls on regional and international entities, including the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the Economic and Social Council, to expand transparency and provide for the effective participation of civil society.

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