Governments’ clampdown on NGOs must end – Navi Pillay

Governments tend to perceive nongovernment organisations’ exposure of human rights violations as harmful to the image of the country, instead of taking action to protect victims against such violations. There may well be concerns over foreign funding [to NGOs] since donors do come with their own agendas that are not local priorities. 

The answer is for governments to provide funding and support for civil society organisations who are working to ensure that good laws are being implemented, according to Judge Navi Pillay, former UN Commissioner of Human Rights. 

It is a matter of concern that several countries have used harmful propaganda against human rights advocates, journalists and artists as an excuse to stifle criticism. Human Rights defenders and journalists are subject to arrests and detention. Countries have adopted legislation, banning NGOs or imposing restrictions on NGO and opposition activities, cutting off their funds and labelling them as donor – driven foreign agents, intent on destabilising institutions.

This is an extract from Navi Pillay’s speech at a public interest law gathering at Wits University on Wednesday evening.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Abandoned by their employers, Ethiopian domestic workers are left stranded in Beirut

Kicked out of Lebanese homes and denied entry into the Ethiopian consulate, Beirut’s Ethiopian house helpers are being abandoned on the streets

The controversial Strandfontein shelter shows the importance of monitoring womxn’s rights during a crisis

Our government’s Covid-19 response and regulations must be subject to stringent monitoring to ensure womxn’s safety and security. This is why the Women’s Legal Centre will be an amicus curae in the case between the City of Cape Town and the SAHRC

My hardest story: Reporting on being queer in Tunisia

Reporting on queer issues is always tough. But Tunisia was something else

In Venezuela, special police force wreaks havoc in slums

Hundreds of residents who have been killed by the Special Action Forces (FAES) in what their loved ones and advocacy groups said were "executions"

Killer’s life sentence gives family ‘a little peace’

The man who beat Danel Rooskrans to death is behind bars, but that doesn't change the pain and rage her loved ones are left with.

South Africa needs to take a position on the plight of the Turks under Erdoğan

The country’s media and NGOs can also play a role in restoring human rights in Turkey
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Fake trafficking news targets migrants

Exaggerated reports on social media of human trafficking syndicates snatching people in broad daylight legitimate xenophobia while deflecting from the real problems in society

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday