NHC and Civic Solidarity Platform submits recommendations to the 19th OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Dublin
On 5 December the NHC and a range of other activists from Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia gathered at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference in Dublin Castle on the eve of the Ministerial Meeting. The organisations, representing the Civic Solidarity Platform, adopted the Dublin declaration on Human Rights Defenders and a document outlining civil society recommendations to the delegates of OSCE participating states gathered in Dublin for the 19th Ministerial meeting.
The recommendations given in the document particularly address the specified issues of the Irish Chairmanship: Freedom of Expression, racism and xenophobia. Further, it identifies other alarming trends regarding fundamental rights in the OSCE region both East and West of Vienna: Several countries have introduced legislation increasing fines for so-called illegal assemblies, gay pride marches have been prohibited, and many states are abusing the term “mass riot” to include all participants in demonstrations turning violent.
In addition to general recommendations on the improvement of the OSCE Human Dimension Mechanisms, building on the 2010 Astana Outcome Document, the document also addresses the topics of freedom of assembly and association. Regarding the continued use of torture in the OSCE region, the document recommends and emphasizes continued NGO monitoring, also in cases where the National Preventive Mechanism on Torture has been introduced in a country.
The separate Dublin Declaration addresses the safety and protection of human rights defenders. The OSCE is encouraged to without delay take several concrete steps towards developing appropriate mechanisms and tools for protection the security of human rights defenders.
Mr. Eamon Gilmore, the Irish Chairman in Office, referred to the recommendations of the Civic Solidarity Platform and the Dublin Declaration on Human Rights defenders in his opening address this morning. He also underlined the importance of civil society participation in the OSCE processes as a whole.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the documents during a constructive meeting with a number of activists of the Platform earlier in the morning, taking care to respond to their concerns, thereby delaying the official opening of the meeting.
Espen Barth-Eide, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, also referred to threats on human rights in several participating states during the opening session, and underlined the importance of the OSCE field offices’ independence.
Read the recommendations here
Read the Dublin Declaration here
Visit Civic Solidarity Platform here