Strengthening civil society cooperation in the OSCE region with regards to security, human rights, conflict resolution, and gender equality

Project Duration: June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019

Locations of Activities: Warsaw, Vienna, Milano, Rome, Kyiv, Bishkek, Yerevan, Tbilisi, Bratislava

The Civic Solidarity Platform: The Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) is an organization that brings together non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Europe, North America, and Asia that are committed to improving human rights situations across the globe. The organization allows for cooperation and enhanced communication between about 90 NGOs from throughout the OSCE region. It also serves as a decentralized advocacy network for independent civic groups across the OSCE region and assists activists that are already engaged in efforts. The CSP has established groups dedicated to coordinated action against specific human rights issues such as: security, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance across Europe. The organization also sends teams into potential conflict areas within the OSCE region in order to monitor unfolding crises and prepare coordinated responses.

Project Background: Member states of the OSCE are facing several daunting unresolved problems and emerging crises. Challenges range from an unresolved migration and refugee crises, persistent threats of terrorism, a rise in cybersecurity threats, regional conflicts, a concerning wave of populism in national politics, and growing tensions between the Russian Federation and Western governments. Civil society cooperation and networks play an incredibly important role in tackling these precarious issues.

Target Groups of the Project:

  • Civil society organizations and activists in the OSCE region
  • The OSCE and its institutions; particularly the ODIHR and the OSCE Gender Unit
  • Representatives of participating member states of the OSCE
  • The interested public in the OSCE region

Project Objectives: the project consists of several subprojects with these overall objectives:

  • To strengthen civil society within the framework of the OSCE by: enhancing dialogue among relevant organizations, implementing monitoring on human rights abuses, and creating recommendations for OSCE institutions and member states
  • To help improve policies in the OSCE region especially with regards to security, human rights, conflict resolution, dialogue, peace-building, and gender equality
  • To establish continuous dialogue and strengthen cooperation on specific issues between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the OSCE region
  • To strengthen the Civil Society Platform (CSP) as a major agent for project objectives
  • To gain new members for the Civil Solidarity Platform

Subprojects:

Subproject 1:

“Learning from one another to move forward together” – A dialogue between human rights advocates, peacebuilders and OSCE representatives working in/on conflict-affected areas in the OSCE regions

Subproject 2:

“Re-loading Women/Peace and Security-Agenda/WPS in the OSCE Region”

  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Germany DRA, Germany
  • The activity will be implemented by the CSP Working Group on Women and Gender Realities in the OSCE Region. WILPF/Germany is the coordinator and is responsible for the substantive preparation of the meetings of the Working Group.
  • The DRA will be responsible for financial management and the overall logistics together with other members of the Working Group

Subproject 3:

“Preventing Counter-Terrorism Measures from Eclipsing Human Rights”

  • Fair Trials, United Kingdom/Belgium 
  • SOVA Center for Information and Analysis 
  • The activity will be implemented by the CSP Working Group on Women and Gender Realities in the OSCE Region. WILPF/Germany is the coordinator and is responsible for the substantive preparation of the meetings of the Working Group.

Subproject 4:

“Drawing Attention to Civil Society Challenges across the OSCE Region”

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) in cooperation with the Coordination Committee of the Civic Solidarity Platform .

Sustainability: The project will:

  • ensure ongoing engagement between the CSP members, OSCE bodies, and state institutions in the region
  • enable the extensive exchange of information between CSP member organizations and will include outside experts
  • help incorporate new civil society actors as members for the CSP
  • increase the international visibility of the CSP as an important civil society platform for the OSCE region
  • raise awareness for human rights and standards of international rule of law in the OSCE states
  • ensure that drafted publications and recommendations will have an ongoing impact on decision makers and important public discourse in the OSCE
  • strengthen and broaden participation of independent civil society actors in state decisions in order to improve accountability, transparency, legitimacy, and credibility.