International norms are the foundation of civic freedoms around the world, but local action is needed to move them from theory to practice. ICNL works on both fronts by engaging with regional and international bodies to develop progressive norms and promoting those norms and their proper implementation in local contexts.
Enhancing International Norms
The Financial Action Task Force
Practices such as bank de-risking can lead to debilitating delays in or even denials of financial services to civil society organizations, based on the unfounded belief that they are at high risk of financing terrorism. ICNL and ECNL have joined forces with the Human Security Collective and Global Nonprofit Coalition on the Financial Action Task Force to advocate for action to prevent the financial exclusion of CSOs. Through workshops, high-level dialogues, and the dissemination of publications at the 2018 and 2019 G20 and C20 summits, we raised awareness of the impact of harmful practices such as de-risking and shared successful approaches to mitigating the problems they cause.
Assembly & Association Rights Online
In January 2019, ICNL convened a discussion between Latin American civil society experts and the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. Their dialogue focused on challenges to exercising those rights online. The meeting was one in a series of regional consultations with CSOs, that ICNL supported, that is helping the special rapporteur formulate recommendations and best practices for protecting the rights of free assembly and association online. The results of the Mexico meeting were incorporated into the special rapporteur’s report to the UN Human Rights Council on this topic.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
ICNL participated with civil society organizations from geographically and ideologically diverse countries in hearings on barriers to the right to freedom of association in the Americas, hosted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The commissioners valued hearing about the limitations frequently imposed on CSOs’ exercise of key rights. One commissioner stated that she was “shocked” by the testimony.