Extractive transparency watchdog releases strategy to support human rights defenders & civic freedoms

Author: Marion Mondain, Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Published on: 1 June 2020

"Rebels with a cause – a lesson in courage", 13 May 2020

In an unsettling world where many are committed to undermining democratic values..., there are...men and women who... are saying “no”. These rebels include people like Merian Mani (Philippines), Alfredo OkenveAli Idrissa and Naomi Binta Stansly (Niger), Jean-Claude Katende ([DRC]), Brice Mackosso, Christian Mounzeo and Nelly Espérancia Mfoutou Kado (Republic of the Congo)... They should be treated as heroes for their relentless battle to ensure the profits generated by the extractive industries are shared with as many people as possible. Yet they are often dismissed through disinformation and branded as “traitors”...Some are imprisoned, watched, harassed or... killed... They struggle to access information... – in particular, the contracts... with extractive companies. Their views are rarely considered [in] development of public policy... [They] ...are operating in an increasingly restrictive legislative context... In Niger, PWYP members Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila, Moundi Moussa have been in detention since March 15, and Ali Idrissa... has received...death threats... On 3 April, Niger’s Council of Ministers adopted a bill banning certain electronic communications...that, if enacted, would severely restrict civic freedoms... In these troubled times, humanity must make choices between finding innovative...ways to move forward or regressing to more restrictive and unsustainable systems... [It] is on the actions of these courageous figures that we must pin our hopes that justice and human dignity will prevail. This is why we all have a duty to support their struggle. 

PWYP developed a Civic Space Strategic Framework which provides a road map for addressing threats to civic space in the extractive sector. It takes a three-pronged approach, based on 1. Prevention, 2. Protection, and, 3. Advocacy. Access the strategic framework here.

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