ONG

Le gouvernement italien a décidé de soumettre les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) pénétrant dans ses eaux territoriales lors d’opérations de sauvetage de migrants à un code de bonne conduite. Les organisations refusant d’y souscrire sont désormais exclues des futures opérations ou, du moins, appelées à y jouer un rôle secondaire.

Parmi les clauses imposées aux ONG figure, notamment, l’obligation d’accueillir, lors des opérations de sauvetage, un agent armé sur leurs bateaux. Les deux raisons à cette résolution, invoquées par le gouvernement de Paolo Gentiloni, sont, d’une part, le besoin d’assurer la sécurité des opérations, et, de l’autre, la nécessité de lutter contre une complicité croissante entre les ONG et les réseaux de trafiquants.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why are some governments cracking down on civil society or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)? By our count, 39 of the world’s 153 low- and middle-income countries enacted restrictive funding laws between 1993 and 2012, targeting NGOs operating in-country with foreign funding.

This trend continues apace today. The Hungarian parliament recently approved a law obligating foreign-supported NGOs to declare their “foreign” status on websites and promotional materials. Egypt, Russia, Israel and other nations have enacted similar laws.

In many cases, governments hope to delegitimize NGOs by “naming and shaming” these groups as foreign agents backed by foreign funds. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban often notes George Soros’s Open Society Foundation as an example of foreign meddling in Hungary’s internal affairs.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recientemente Fabrice Leggeri, Director de la Agencia FRONTEX, acusó a las ONGs, que diariamente rescatan a centenares de inmigrantes cerca de las aguas libias, de apoyar indirectamente a los traficantes y de fomentar la inmigración irregular. Aunque las ONGs y voluntarios llevan años realizando una ardua labor rescatando y dando asistencia a refugiados e inmigrantes, las acusaciones de apoyo al tráfico ilícito de inmigrantes y de fomento de la llegada de personas a Europa no han cesado contra ellas.

Si bien es indudable, y de sentido común, que no son las organizaciones no gubernamentales las que llevan a estas personas a huir de la guerra y de la pobreza, ¿cuál es su rol en la gestión de la crisis de refugiados?, ¿acaban siendo las ONGs, muy a su pesar, una parte más del problema?…  Seguir leyendo »

Nada perjudica tanto la imagen de Rusia en Occidente hoy como su ley sobre agentes extranjeros. Aprobada en julio de 2012, la ley obliga a toda organización no comercial (ONC) que se dedique a “actividades políticas” (algo que la ley no define) a registrarse en el Ministerio de Justicia declarando cumplir “funciones de un agente extranjero”. Luego en 2015 se aprobó una ley sobre “organizaciones indeseables” que obliga a todas esas ONC a identificarse públicamente como tales agentes.

La elección de palabras es peculiar y significativa. Al fin y al cabo, ¿qué se entiende por “funciones de un agente extranjero” en sentido coloquial sino servir a los intereses de una potencia extranjera?…  Seguir leyendo »

Poland amazed the world last year when mass protests against tightening restrictions on abortion rights mushroomed across the country, forcing the government to change its position.

The Black Protest that spread within and outside the country demonstrated the vitality of grassroots activism in Poland. It also reflected social and political changes in the country and the way Polish civil society has evolved.

In spite of repeated claims that post-socialist civil societies are weak and still immature, this episode and many other recent domestic developments show otherwise. As a recent study demonstrated, urban movements are thriving in Poland.

The NGO backlash

During the Black Protest, organisations such as Gals to Gals (Dziewuchy Dziewuchom) and Save the Women (Ratujmy Kobiety which are informal initiatives, took to the streets together with citizens, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and political parties, demonstrating activism has changed in Poland in recent years.…  Seguir leyendo »

Among their common traits, illiberal strongmen share a virulent mistrust of civil society. From Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, illiberal governments regularly use imprisonment, threats and nationalist language to repress nongovernmental organizations. Here in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is going after their money.

The Lawyers Collective, an advocacy group in New Delhi run by the prominent lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, has for three decades provided legal assistance to women, nonunion workers, activists and other marginalized groups, often without charge. In December, the Modi government barred it from receiving foreign grants. The political reasons were obvious: The Collective had represented critics of Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gracias a las personas que marcaron en 2015 la casilla de Actividades de Interés Social en su declaración de la renta, en 2016 se financiarán 1.272 programas de acción social. Se trata de proyectos finalistas, destinados directamente a las personas (más de 7 millones) en situación o en riesgo de pobreza y exclusión.

Las encargadas de distribuir los fondos recibidos para el desarrollo de los programas son 470 organizaciones no gubernamentales que atienden a personas mayores, personas con discapacidad, personas enfermas de cáncer, mujeres en situación de dificultad social, jóvenes, infancia y familias vulnerables.

Todo ello gracias a un simple gesto que no supone pagar más impuestos; simplemente asegura que una parte de ellos, concretamente el 0,7%, sean destinados a mejorar la calidad de vida de personas en situación de vulnerabilidad, a través de la solidaridad ciudadana.…  Seguir leyendo »

Depuis les années 1990 et la multiplication des incidents de sécurité dans les conflits post-guerre froide en Afrique de l’ouest, Somalie, Tchétchénie, ex-Yougoslavie et dans la région africaine des Grands lacs, les organisations humanitaires déplorent une insécurité croissante. Les récents bombardements des hôpitaux soutenus par MSF en Afghanistan, Syrie ou au Yémen n’ont fait que renforcer les inquiétudes.

Ce constat est aujourd’hui étayé par des enquêtes visant à « quantifier de manière objective » la violence contre les travailleurs humanitaires. Les statistiques sur la violence contre les organismes d’aide soulèvent au moins deux questions : les données quantitatives démontrent-elles que l’insécurité est « réellement » en augmentation ?…  Seguir leyendo »

«Les réfugiés, l’affaiblissement des pays arabes, Daesh et la menace de guerre entre Sunnites et Chiites occupent le monde – et pendant ce temps la politique israélienne, profitant de ne plus être en ligne de mire, prend de plus en plus d’initiatives qui vont à l’encontre des droits humains. Pour faire écho à cette sinistre ambiance, quelques jeunes colons radicalisés qui n’ont rien à envier à l’état d’esprit des djihadistes, ont poignardé sauvagement, lors d’un mariage, la photo du petit Ali Dawabsheh, le bébé brûlé par des terroristes israéliens.

Les récentes déclarations et les initiatives prises à l’encontre des ONG qui luttent pour les droits humains en Israël et dans les territoires palestiniens illustrent ce climat politique délétère.…  Seguir leyendo »

They came for the feminists in the spring. In the summer, they came for the rights-defense lawyers. And on Dec. 3, the eve of China’s Constitution Day, Chinese authorities initiated a widespread crackdown on labor activists in the industrial powerhouse of Guangdong province.

Since they first appeared 20 years ago, China’s labor nongovernmental organizations have suffered regular rounds of repression and harassment, including tax audits, mafia violence and continual interrogation by security officials. But this most recent repression is more serious. It seems that the Communist Party is intent on stamping out labor activism in civil society once and for all.…  Seguir leyendo »

Moscow has released an initial list of “undesirable organizations” that constitute a “threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, its defense capabilities and its national security.” Along with the Open Society Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, the list includes the MacArthur Foundation.

The move, part of Vladimir Putin’s campaign to stifle civil society in Russia, comes as no surprise. What is surprising and depressing, though, has been the overall reaction of Western NGOs and Russian academics to the Kremlin’s action. As one who has been closely involved in efforts to improve ties between Russian and American scientists for more than two decades, I’ve seen few signs of serious protest against Moscow’s campaign to end a long and fruitful era of cooperation.…  Seguir leyendo »

A number of strange protests — small, mild and held in a sort of minor key — took place in Russia’s main cities this week.

A bookstore in St. Petersburg wrote in its window on Tuesday, “We are proud to be selling books published by the Dynasty Foundation.” The Dynasty Foundation, a charitable organization that funds research and educational projects, had just been designated by the authorities as a “foreign agent” — contemporary Russian-speak for an “enemy of the state.” In Moscow, a school teacher stood in front of the Justice Ministry holding a cardboard placard. Later, a writer wearing a graduation gown stood in the same spot, holding a sheet of paper in a plastic sleeve.…  Seguir leyendo »

Thirty-five years ago, on Jan. 22, 1980, Andrei Sakharov was detained by KGB agents on a Moscow street and packed off to Nizhny Novgorod, then called Gorky. The decision to send the human rights defender and winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize into internal exile came as relations with the West deteriorated after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a month earlier. Today, history is being repeated as the Russian government mounts a legal attack on human rights and civic organizations — including an institution created to preserve Sakharov’s legacy — at a time when Moscow’s relations with the world are strained by its involvement in a war in neighboring Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Les ONG internationales, largement dominées par des organisations dont les sièges, comme les financements, sont principalement issus des pays occidentaux, sont-elles condamnées – pour cause d’une insécurité motivée par leur ancrage à des pays majoritairement chrétiens – à ne plus pouvoir se déployer? En Irak, en Afghanistan, en Syrie, au Mali, au Niger, en Centrafrique, les ONG occidentales sont-elles ainsi bloquées dans leurs capacités à se déplacer et à intervenir parce que ces terrains seraient l’expression de tensions religieuses?

La question est brusquement et tragiquement réactivée par l’assassinat de Peter Kassig en Syrie.

Face à ce questionnement, chaque pays est un cas particulier.…  Seguir leyendo »

En este nuevo informe del Laboratorio de Ideas de la Fundación Alternativas se pretende analizar la situación de las organizaciones no gubernamentales para el desarrollo (ONGD) en España, entendiéndolas como parte del entramado de instituciones políticas, sociales y económicas que intervienen en la política española de cooperación internacional al desarrollo, y como resultado de la implicación de la sociedad civil española. El escenario del análisis en que se basa no es otro que la crisis sistémica de financiación, donde el modelo social, económico y político está en plena transformación. El marco viene establecido por las dificultades prolongadas, a las que todavía no se puede descartar una intensificación mayor del déficit democrático, la desigualdad y la pobreza en todo el mundo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Très récemment, le député européen Charles Goerens, rapporteur pour Ebola à la Commission du développement du Parlement européen, a déclaré que cette épidémie était «la première grande crise internationale dans laquelle il faudrait donner le lead à une ONG – en l’occurrence à Médecins sans frontières».

Alors même que nous n’avions de cesse de réclamer plus de leadership de la part de la communauté internationale, Union européenne comprise, cette proposition nous a pris de court. Nous avons compris cet appel, venant d’un député qui par ailleurs a publiquement mis en cause l’insuffisante action des Etats européens par rapport à l’épidémie, comme un symptôme de l’échec des mécanismes de réponse publics et plus encore de l’immense difficulté collective à agir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Once again, the news from Afghanistan fills us with sadness and suggests that perhaps we should despair, that maybe it’s time to give up hope for the country.

On Thursday morning, an Afghan guard allegedly opened fire at the gates of a hospital in Kabul, killing three Americans, including Chicago pediatrician Jerry Umanos and a father and son, also doctors, visiting the medical facility.

Civilians have suffered the brunt of Afghanistan’s decades of turmoil, but when the killers target aid workers, people who have left their lives behind to come and help, their message is loud and painfully clear: “Go away!”

In the anger, frustration and heartbreak that follow these attacks, I’ve heard it many times, people declare: “That’s it.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost a year into the Kremlin’s war on civil society, the legal veneer looked familiar: A May 15 letter from prosecutors informed the Levada Center, Russia’s most authoritative independent polling firm, that in publicizing the results of its polls it “aimed at shaping public opinion on government policy” and was, therefore, a “political organization.” And, as a political organization receiving foreign grants (from the likes of the Ford and MacArthur foundations), it had to register as a “foreign agent.”

Every assault on civil society is a tragedy for Russia. Nongovernmental organizations are, first and foremost, schools of democracy, teaching personal responsibility, self-organization, peaceful dissent and compromise.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts at comedy have never been particularly endearing. Lately, they’ve been bad enough to turn the country into a pariah state.

This week, Putin embarked on a European image offensive against a background of creeping repression at home, as government agencies started implementing a law requiring nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign money to register as “foreign agents.” Amnesty International and 42 other organizations received visits from law-enforcement officials. One group — Golos, known for its efforts to expose electoral fraud — was charged with violating the law.

The crackdown, which Golos head Grigory Melkonyants called a “political contract hit,” prompted the aging rocker Mark Knopfler, founder of the group Dire Straits and an Amnesty International supporter, to cancel upcoming concerts in Moscow and St.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Russian tax and law enforcement authorities recently raided the Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch, they invited a television crew from one of the country’s key state-controlled broadcast networks, NTV, to film the proceedings. State news television cameras similarly tagged along when government inspectors staged raids of other NGOs, including Amnesty International and the human rights group Memorial.

While President Vladimir Putin has described these raids as “routine measures linked to the desire of the law enforcement agencies to bring the activities of organizations in line with the law,” the question must be asked: Why the need to film and then feature in prime time news broadcasts if these measures are simply “routine”?…  Seguir leyendo »