Human Rights and Governance

Main recommendations of the civil society seminars (25-27 April 2017, Tunis)

Session 1: Human rights and democratic transition: What CS can do to build and strengthen democracy?


RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EU:

• Make more efforts to identify new actors and have a clear picture and update about CSOs after the Arab spring.
• Apply the human rights conditionality in all its association agreements; CSOs to monitor itclosely.
• Include in its association agreements with partner countries a formal mechanism / structure composed of CSOs to ensure periodic monitoring.
• EU should include civil society organizations, including independent and autonomous ones in its dialogue mechanisms at national level.
• Continue organizing periodic regional forums on specific thematics to achieve exchange between civil society actors.
• Continue protecting human rights and human rights defenders.
• Work directly with grass roots organizations to avoid intermediates.

Session 2: Are Human rights and counter terrorism tactics irreconcilable?

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EU:

• Support the implementation of the Barcelona Plan of Action of the Euromed CS to prevent all forms of Violent Extremism; encourage CSOs to become members of the OPEV.
• Support all partner countries in the development of National Plans of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PEV), as recommended by the UN’s Secretary General. The OSC should be involved in the elaboration and monitoring of these Plans of Action, to ensure Human Rights and Civil Liberties are respected.
• Governments should be urged to allow the space for CSOs to work and implement PVE related programs.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO CSOs:

• Ensure the role of CSOs in monitoring, reporting, and providing the relevant protection and capacity to conduct this role.
• Monitor media to avoid hate speech and prevent violence and extremism.


Session 3: Violence against Women, and Women’s rights protection.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EU:

• Invite partner countries’ governments to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention, and invite both governments and CSOs to use the mechanisms and tools provided by the Convention, regardless of the ratification status.
• Support partner countries in the elaboration of legislation regarding women, and encourage them to ratify and implement the CEDAW without reservations.
• Support all partner countries in the implementation of UN resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security.
• Continue supporting awareness campaigns on Women’s rights.
• Protect female human rights defenders who are lobbying and advocating on issues regarding violence against women.

Session 4 : Protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and minorities, and preventing discrimination.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EU:

• Enhance and support Human Rights organizations from the region to document and report on violations and abuses targeting vulnerable groups, in particular religious, ethnic minorities and LGBT, and enhance Human Rights organizations to submit alternative reports to UN subcommittee on discriminations.
• Support awareness campaign, education, and training programmes for the Media in the field of non-discrimination, and respect to all kind of differences.
• Support the creation of spaces for dialogue between SCOs and national authorities on the question of discriminations.
• Support initiatives ensuring legal, medical, and psychological coverage of persons victims of all kinds of discriminations (and LGBT in particular).
• Organize a specific regional forum on all kinds of discriminations, dealing with legal, social, and psychological aspects, and distinguishing between HR protection and promotion.
• Create a regional/sub-regional pole of experts/specialists (lawyers, psychologists, medical professionals…) working on the question of LGBT.
• Call the governments of Partner Countries to abrogate legislation criminalizing sexual intercourse between consenting adults of same sex, and to forbid all kind of intrusive medical examinations disrespectful of the integrity and dignity of the person.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO CSOs:
• Use the national and international Human Rights tools and mechanisms to protect minorities and individuals victims of discriminations.