Civic Space and International Human Rights: instruments, strategies, and partners

Datum: 17 december 2019

Civic Space Conference - 17th of December, 13.30-17.00 hrs,

Venue: New World Campus, the Hague


Development is a precondition for the achievement of human rights, and human rights are necessary for development. Human rights and development cooperation, however, have long been seen as separate policy fields. In a recent advisory report to the Dutch government, the AIV states that the Dutch government could do more to integrate SDG and human rights policy and actions. And as civil society plays an important role in the SDG partnership, combating shrinking civic space should be an integral part of human rights and development policies. Interaction between development and human rights organisations also remains an ongoing challenge, according to the AIV.  How can we strengthen the cooperation on an integrated agenda of development and human rights: within civil society, the Ministry and with private sector parties?


How can we make better use of international human rights mechanisms to protect and expand civic space so that local civil society can play their indispensable role advocating for and the monitoring of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals? A conference to learn about and strengthen strategic cooperation on the civic space agenda in the run-up to the new civil subsidy program of the NL MFA.



  • Ines M. Pousadela, an Uruguayan civil society activist and researcher working for  CIVICUS. Based on her report ‘Against the anti-Rights Wave’, she will talk about  human right violations, targeted restriction of civic space and other latest developments in relation to civil society activism, share an update on the situation in Latin-America and present her views on what global civil society could and should do give agency to local voices and strengthen civil societies countervailing power.

  • Nicole Sprokel, Amnesty International The Netherlands: She will show how better use could be made of existing International Human Rights Instruments,  

  • Bahia Tahzib-Lie, The Netherlands Human Rights Ambassador. She will talk about the integration of SDG and human rights policy and actions in the foreign policy of The Dutch government and share her thoughts on the cooperation of the Ministry with civil society on an integrated agenda. 



13:00              Registration
13:30              Opening by Koos de Bruijn and Anne-Marie Heemskerk (Partos)
13:35              Contributions by Ines Pousadela, Bahia Tahzib-Lie, and Nicole Sprokel
15:00              Breakout sessions


  1. Resourcing needs of civil society in the frontline, facilitated by CIVICUS
  2. Keeping our activists safe, facilitated by IUCN
  3. Making use of International HR-mechanisms, facilitated by Plan Nederland and Amnesty International
  4. Learning from current strategic partnerships: strengthening the cooperation between the strategic partnerships
  5. Learning from current strategic partnerships: cooperation between Dutch civil society and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

16:25             Plenary wrap-up: recommendations and strategies for collaboration
                      Closing remarks by Jeroen Kelderhuis, head DSO-MO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
17:00             Drinks


To attend this event you can sign up through the following link. (opens in Eventbrite)



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