COPENHAGEN, Denmark – UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai told an audience in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week that restrictions on civil society are a global trend, and not one limited to the so-called Global South.
“Pressure on [civil society] in developing countries is growing,” said Kiai, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. “But the pressure on NGOs is a global tendency which affects the North just as much as the South. Fear of what the NGOs can do – and will do – threatens freedom of association in all countries.”
The remarks came during a keynote address at a conference organized by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DanChurchAid, held on June 16, 2014. The theme of the event was “Civil Society Organizations in the Global South under Pressure,” but Kiai noted that if the West wants to be taken seriously when talking about human rights, they must consistently take the lead.
The event also marked the launch of ACT Alliance/CIDSE’s new report, Space for Civil Society.
A full write-up on the event, along with video, is available at DanChurchAid’s website.