Annual camp for Lusophone civil society activists

By Richard Lee | October 10th, 2011
Civil Society activists gather in Sao Tomé & Principe to discuss Governance, Rul

Once a year, civil society activists from the five Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa meet to discuss a host of critical issues at a unique conference – known as the Lusophone CSOs Camp. Funded by the Open Society Foundations, the annual event is the only one to bring together participants from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé & Príncipe. Brazilians civil society activists are also invited.

This year’s four-day forum will run from October 10th-13th in Sao Tome & Principe and the activists will debate issues that relate to good governance, accountability and the promotion and protection of human rights in their countries, exchange best practices and draw up joint advocacy initiatives. The conference also provides a much-needed opportunity to network and to build solidarity among activists from the different countries, which face many of the same challenges.

The main topic of this year’s event is ‘The Rights of Women and Gender Equity’.

Generally, the annual event aims to enhance the capacity of civil society in Portuguese-speaking countries to effectively promote open society ideals and to keep democratic spaces open and vibrant. More specifically the 2012 conference will:

  1. Bring human rights activists and organisations together to discuss governance and human rights issues affecting their countries;
  2. Ensure that strategic issues are collectively discussed and analysed in order to inform advocacy campaigns at the national and regional level;
  3. Facilitate the participation and integration of Portuguese-speaking human rights activists and organisations into regional and continental processes around human rights issues;
  4. Provide a forum for young activists to undergo an induction process on governance and human rights advocacy with well-defined lectures on an array of topics; and,
  5. Provide a sense of solidarity for human rights activists and organisations operating under restrictive environments, such as in Angola and Guiné-Bissau.

At the end of this event, participants are expected to adopt strategies that will promote open society ideals, improve their participation in the formulation of policies and in the monitoring of compliance by the State and other public entities with international standards of good governance, rule of law and human rights – as well as to devise joint advocacy campaigns for implementation across countries.
 

Download the final declaration from the camp

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