Trip to the Civicus World Assembly in South Africa
John Garrison, Senior Civil Society Specialist, and Mishka Zaman, Senior Operations Officer at the Inspection Panel (IPN) traveled to South Africa to reach out to international and South African CSOs during the CIVICUS International Civil Society Week (ICSW) held in Johannesburg from November 21 – 24, 2014. The CIVICUS assembly is one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of CSOs and this year attracted some 700 CSO representatives from around the world. In addition to attending the ICSW events and mingling with CSO leaders, they organized an informational meeting with international CSOs, held a meeting with South African CSOs, and distributed IPN materials.
The meeting with international CSOs attracted some 30 CSO leaders from over 20 countries. John and Mishka made a short presentation on the Panel and provided examples of recent/relevant inspection cases in India, Kenya, and South Africa. This was followed by a Q&A and general discussion. The main issues brought up included: how does the Panel ensure its independence, how the Panel investigates cases, the relationship with governments, and examples where the Panel process resulted in positive outcomes for the Requesters and their communities. They also met with a group of South African CSOs through the auspices of the South Africa Forum for International Solidarity (SAFIS) to provide information on its work and discuss ways to strengthen the Panel’s outreach.
See photos from the event in ourFacebook album.