DRI shrinking space initiative goes international

“The participants are thinking about suing DRI in the ECHR for the over-human treatment of participants”

Extract from the evaluation form

In such relatively young democracies as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, public organisations, initiatives and volunteer groups appear to be the decisive driving force of reforms and committed human rights monitors. Recently, the pressure on such organisations and initiatives from both the government and pseudo-human rights organisations has increased significantly. This pressure negatively affects the efficiency of organisations engaged in holding public authorities accountable and protecting human rights. Such a negative trend is observed in the entire OSCE region, but in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova it has similar roots and mechanisms. DRI’s project in Ukraine aims to tackle this problem.

During the last weekend of May, DRI Ukraine and its long-time partner Freedom House held an international conference devoted to the security of human rights defenders (HRD). The conference was a continuation of the year-long efforts by DRI and Freedom House to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations, human rights and anti-corruption activists in the field of physical and IT security and communication strategies.

This time DRI brought together ten human rights activists from eight different regions of Ukraine and ten from Georgia and Moldova. Through a combination of discussions and interactive training, the event’s international environment fostered a setting of creative innovation. Here, the participants were able to develop many new ideas on how to minimise risks human rights activists often face.

Quite surprisingly, the conference also became a sort of short-time shelter for the activists who live under permanent pressure. The friendly atmosphere and intensive working sessions helped them to refuel their optimism.

Hopefully, such international forums will remain in the DRI’s portfolio in the future.


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