“Time to react” – Creating an enabling environment for civil society
International conference at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, 1 June 2017
Click here for formal conference website (scroll down for English)
Date: Thursday, 1 June 2017 , 2 pm – 7 pm, doors open at 1:30pm
Location: Library reading room at the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt), Berlin
Address: Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin
Hosts: Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, German Federal Foreign Office
Languages: German/English with simultaneous interpreting
Please register by May 22 at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the press please also register at: email@example.com
Please note: To attend this conference you have to register personally by email. For security reasons you need to bring your identity card or passport. Please allow sufficient time for the security check. Library doors open will open at 1:30 pm. Access is via the atrium at Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin.
Despite positive developments and stronger movements toward democracy in many countries, the opposite tendency is also evident on a global scale. Civil societies are under threat from actions taken not only by authoritarian but also by democratic governments.
“Before I knew what that ‘shrinking space’ was supposed to mean, our organization was affected“, says Henri Tiphagne, Director of People’s Watch in India. Many different types of action are restricting civil society. These include legally enacted legislation or administrative regulations that affect women’s rights groups, foundations, human rights organizations, and land rights and environmental protection work. They also include relatively new laws designed to protect national values or identities, which are used to criminalize vaguely defined unpopular political action. NGOs are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the registration requirements in many countries. New laws also make it harder to receive funding from abroad.
Organizations for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) have long faced registration challenges, especially in countries that criminalize homosexual acts. Russia´s new `anti-propaganda laws´ make any positive mention of homosexuality – even for health education – a punishable offense. Less well known internationally are anti-NGO laws such as those in Uganda or laws that seek to uphold “national dignity”. These especially affect LGBTI organizations which are frequently their primary target.
It is time to come together to develop counter-strategies that reflect and incorporate the special role of LGBTI organizations. This conference focuses on foreign policy, development cooperation, NGOs, and donors. The aim is to formulate questions and discuss possible solutions. What alliances, good examples, and ideas already exist that can help both foreign policy and development cooperation react to the shrinking space for civil society?
GPP in partnership with EVZ and Dreilinden
invite grantmakers to attend a breakfast meeting
Thursday June 1, 2017
LOCATION: Amici Am Gendarmenmarkt
RSVP for the breakfast is required and is now closed.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
STUDY: The Impact of International Counter-terrorism on Civil Society Organisations
Understanding the role of the Financial Action Taskforce
April 2017, Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service
2:00 – 2:15 pm Welcome
Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Federal Foreign Office
Axel Hochrein, Executive Board Member, Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation
2:15 – 3:00 pm Analysis and characteristics of the closing space
Introductory presentation: “Characteristics of the closing space”
Iva Dobichina, Open Society Foundation, London
Research presentation: ‟The Perfect Storm – The closing spaces for LGBT civil society in Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Kenya, and Hungary”
Matthew Hart, Global Philanthropy Project
3:00 – 5:00 pm Practical examples
Russia: Anti-NGO legislation and its dimensions
Gulya Sultanowa, Side by Side St. Petersburg reports on massive restrictions: “Culture is also struggling”
Botswana: LEGABIBO wins court case on right to register
Monica Tabengwa, Co-General Secretary of Pan Africa ILGA, on freedom of association
Uganda: Anti-NGO laws
Kasha Jaqueline Nabagesera, FARUG Uganda, with a call to build alliances
5:00 – 5:30 pm Coffee break
5:30 – 7:00 pm Panel discussion: Where to go from here? What is Germany doing? How to respond without doing harm? Promising counter-strategies and alliances
Dr. Bärbel Kofler, German Federal Commissioner for Human Rights
Dr. Heike Kuhn, Head of Human Rights Division, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Barbara Unmüßig, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, President
Björn van Roozendaal, ILGA-Europe, Programmes Director
Moderator: Dr. Annette Weber, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Q&A, closing discussion
7:00 – 8:00 pm Reception with beverages and snacks