HRC50: Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue – FOAA – Access to resources
HRHF video statement
17 June 2022
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In his report the Rapporteur highlights that the right of associations to freely access human, material and financial resources – from domestic, foreign and international sources – is inherent in the right to freedom of association”.
However, there is a global trend to limit access to resources, with the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan as two notable examples in the European region.
There are usually limited restrictions to accessing foreign funding by the corporate sector. States themselves usually face no barriers to accessing finance from abroad. So why is civil society targeted in this way?
Restricting civil society’s access to resources comes from a desire to control, including in some cases to outright stigmatise and silence its work and voice.
In addition, restrictions on resources no longer just relate to financial resources, but include even the sharing of information.
For example, in the Russian Federation, further extensions to “foreign agent” legislation aim at curtailing all opportunities for Russian civil society to cooperate with international partners. This potentially includes the United Nations, and we fear the repercussions, including increased reprisals against human rights defenders and their organisations.
We ask the Special Rapporteur where international standards and international law need to be better strengthened in order to ensure greater protection around access to resources.