The European External Action Service and the European Commission, in partnership with the Human Rights and Democracy Network (a network of NGOs operating at the EU level on human rights, democracy and peace), is organising the 23rd EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights on 7 and 8 (side events continuing on 9 December) December 2021.
The focus of this year’s forum will be “Rebuilding Better – a human rights-based recovery from the pandemic”. Full details about the agenda and link for registering available here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on the respect and full enjoyment of human rights. Moreover, the pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities and led to increased unemployment, threatened social cohesion, and disproportionately affected persons in vulnerable situations. Governments have taken urgent measures to safeguard public health and provide medical care to those who need it. However, many governments have used the pretext of COVID-19 to impose disproportionate restrictions on fundamental freedoms that might outlive the pandemic.
Within this context, the EU-NGO Human Rights Forum is an exclusive opportunity to elaborate recommendations on how the EU can better protect civic space worldwide, both online and offline, and address mounting inequalities and shortfalls in human rights protection by promoting a rights-based recovery, including the strengthening of healthcare and decent work for everyone. It is also an opportunity to create or strengthen international multi-stakeholder networks, particularly for human rights defenders.
Through its multi-stakeholder discussions, the forum will be an opportunity for you to discuss policies and emerging practices and to share your experiences with the European institutions and other organisations working on human rights.
This year’s forum will address three main topics:
- Ending states of emergency and restrictions on fundamental freedoms;
- Equal access to health care: addressing marginalisation and vulnerability;
- Reinforcing economic, social and labour rights, corporate accountability, the decent work agenda and social protection in the post-COVID world.
The event, which will be fully virtual, will be built around an interactive platform where you will be able to explore and contribute to a global community of human rights actors. Most importantly, the platform will host a series of panel discussions and interactive sessions on the three main topics on 7 and 8 December, as well as side sessions extending until 9 December.