Council of Europe

CDDH: Protection and promotion of the civil society space in Europe

FEMYSO participated to a workshop at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg entitled *Protection and promotion of the civil society space in Europe*, organized by the CDDH during their 90th meeting under the aegis of the Finnish Presidency of Committee of ministers.

During this meeting, the new recommendation adopted by the Committee of Ministers (Council of Europe) on the 28th of November 2018 was presented in front of Council of Europe Member states representatives, human rights NGOs and other independent human rights activists. An overview of the work and researches done to establish and write this text were presented during a panel.

The creation of such recommendation is currently necessary as there are considerable and increasing number of allegations and reports of threats of a serious nature, risks and dangers faced by human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders online and offline. The restrictions are manifested through restrictive laws, regulations and policies. Moreover, a more restrictive approach to freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression is noticed. Physical and verbal attacks, threats against human rights defenders, women, migrants and minorities became common in civil society space. For these reasons, there is an urgent need of a tool to strengthen the protection and promotion of the civil society space in Europe.

The next step of the work will be the translation of the text into the different Council of Europe member states languages then addressed to the different governments to use it to ensure a safe environment for civil society.