On 1 February 2021, the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) participated at the FRP meeting 2021: Human Rights Work in Challenging Times – Ways Forward. The virtual event, divided into a high-level panel and plenary discussion, breakout sessions, and a networking part, provided a platform through which the participants across Europe could share their opinion, experiences, and lessons learned regarding the human rights challenges and opportunities they were faced in times of COVID-19. The event accented the importance of social activism and the power of civil society voice, and the accountable and transparent work of CSOs that contributed to improved civil society resilience amid crisis.
During the breakout sessions, the CSO representatives had a chance to discuss various topics aligned with human rights and fundamental human freedoms during the pandemic. BCSDN attended the breakout session hosted by Civicus: World Alliance for Citizens Participation, European Civic Forum, and European non-for-profit Law (ECNL), discussing the defending civic space in times of pandemic: challenges and success stories. The participants shared the examples of movement restrictions and assembly the CSOs in respective countries were faced and the governments’ breaches of basic human freedoms and provided recommendations to EU institutions. Read more about the event here.