World Social Forum 2007: Human Rights Struggles and Voices.


Nairobi, 16th January 2007

Human Rights issues have been prominent in previous editions of World Social Forum. Until now, however, they featured mainly as a collection of events. For the World Social Forum (WSF), to be held from 20 to 25 January in Nairobi (Kenya), they have become essential element of the Forum architecture. This is through the determined effort of cooperation and coordination by a host of international, regional and Kenyan Human Rights organisations, working together in the Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus.

The aim of this international group is to ensure joint planning, communication, organising and mobilising around human rights.

As an expression of new interest in Human Rights, the number of members of the Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus (HDHRC) has experienced a spectacular growth. In 2007, 84 global, national and local organisations have decided to carry out their activities in the Nairobi Forum within the framework of the HDHRC (see list below). They will convene and contribute a set of more than eighty seminars, workshops, panel-discussions and cultural events on important human rights struggles, giving a voice to the people and the organisations fighting for justice in a globalising world. The local host of the Caucus is the Kenya Human Rights Network.

On the 21st of January, three eminent human rights defenders will address the opening session of the Caucus program, entitled “Human dignity and human rights: Measures of a just world”: Shirin Ebadi (Iran Nobel Peace Prize 2003), Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and Nora de Cortiñas (prominent founder-member of the Argentinian ‘Madres de la Plaza de Mayo’). Other prominent speakers at workshops and seminars include, next to important leaders of grass-roots movements, Miloon Kothari (India, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing), Professor Maxine Molyneaux (University of London, Great Britain), Dr. Farid Esack (South Africa, presently of Harvard University, USA) and Professor Bas de Gaay Fortman, (Utrecht University, Netherlands.)

Cultural events will include exhibitions, films, performances and the Haki night: a human rights vigil dedicated to women and men from Kenya and around the world who, sometimes at the cost of their own lives, have contributed to the safeguarding of human dignity and the protection of rights and essential freedoms.

Rather than being internal discussions or deliberative events without engaging corrective actions, the HDHRC events will strive to set out practical objectives aiming at strengthening the human rights movement in general and demonstrating the relevance of human rights to peoples” daily struggles. The closing seminar (on the 24th of January) will be entirely dedicated to the defining strategies and alliances for the future.

(See program attached)

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HDHRC Members

International and regional organisations:

African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWCFS), African Women’s Economic Policy Network (AWEPON), Building Eastern Africa Community Network (BEACON), Center for Research on Multinational Corporations, Center for Victims of Torture, Dignity International, EACOR, Ecumenical Platform, Ecumenical Water Network, Equalinrights, Gender Equity Coalition, Housing and Land Rights Network—Habitat International Coalition (HIC-HLRN), Human Rights Nights, IPC human right working group, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Women’s Tribune Centre, PDHRE, Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights Learning, Peaceline, PeaceWomen Across the Globe, IPC (International Planning Committee), Pax Christi International, OECD Watch, Settlement Information Network Africa (SINA), Social Alert International, Voices of African Mothers (VAM), WGNRR and Women’s Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM).

Development agencies:

APRODEV, Aprodev Rights and Development Group, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, FIAN-International (Food First Network), Bread for the World-Germany, Church of Sweden, EED-Germany, Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO-Netherlands), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Misereor-Germany, DanchurchAid-Denmark and Research and Information Center for Development (CRID)

National, grassroots organization and local initiatives:

Academy for Peace and Development (APD), Applied Research Institute—Jerusalem (Palestine), L’Association Citoyenne de Défense des Intérêts Collectifs (ACDIC), Association des Organisations Professionnelles Paysannes (AOPP), Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), Association des Femmes pour les initiatives du Paix de Mali, Banadir Peace Forum, Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR), Confédération Paysanne (France), COPA, Consult for Women and Land Rights (CWLR), Empowerment and Participatory Development Agency-EPADA, Entishar Charitable society (Sudan), Ekta Parishad (India), Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, FIAN-Ghana, Frères des Hommes (France), Germanwatch, G8 Activities Coordination, Gospel Vision Group (GVG), Humanist Committee on Human Rights (HOM), ISHA Human rights, Jagori, Kaalo Relief and Development, Somalia Peace and Development Organization – SPDO, Kenyan Human Rights Commission, KPA (Indonesia), Kenya Land Alliance, Mazingira Institute, Miss Koch Initiative, MST (Brazil), Land Center for Human Rights, Land Research Centre, Legal Resources Center, Ebony Youth, Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advoacy Initiative, Orphans Support Initiative Kenya, Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Peuples Solidaires, Peace and Human Rights Network, Rozaria Memorial Foundation, Samburu Women Advocacy Network (SWAN), Somaliland National Disability Forum NAGAAD, Somali Agro-action Community – SAACOM, Sons land association for human rights (slahr), Soroti Basic Education Support Program, UNIFEM and Voice of Somaliland Women Minority Organization, Urban Spot.