2013 report by Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders

October 1, 2014

The Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) today released its 2013 Annual Report detailing its activities in support of individuals, groups and NGOs who are defending human rights in a wide variety of distinctly challenging contexts across the Arab region. In 2013, when access to internal and external funding sources in the region remained limited and difficult, the Foundation faced the dual challenges of protecting defenders in increasingly repressive and violent environments and of consolidating positive civil society dynamics in countries where tentative steps were taken toward democratisation.

In countries such as Syria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt, where particularly grave threats against rights activists were in evidence, the Foundation prioritised protecting defenders, thus enabling them to continue to witness and fight against impunity and to defend and promote universally affirmed human rights. In countries where uncertainties remained despite positive momentum toward democratisation, namely Morocco and Tunisia, the Foundation focused its strategy on the consolidation of the civil society movement, strengthening collective dialogue and advocacy efforts to foster equality, pluralism and diversity.

Alongside valuable conventional activities in support of human rights such as education, documentation, lobbying and advocacy, the Foundation also encouraged new unifying approaches, such as cultural and artistic activities as alternative means to reach younger audiences and build a new language of freedom in the region.

The latest external evaluation, conducted in June 2013, confirmed the relevance of the Foundation’s actions: “The political changes that occurred in the Southern Mediterranean countries have shown that a very small Foundation, such as EMHRF, is very capable of responding quickly to changing political situations.  The Foundation is able to respond rapidly to financial needs which may arise for human rights defenders and it is able to accompany emerging human rights defenders and their organisations in their aim to mobilise international support, seek funding from mainstream donors and make alliances with local NGOs who have similar goals and aims.”

The Foundation’s 2013 annual report is available online

for earlier posts on the arab region: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/arab-region/

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