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As a participatory member of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs, Volonteurope, represented by its Secretary General, Piotr Sadowski, will be contributing to this online webinar on 26 February 2021, 10:00-13:00 CET.

The event will be an opportunity to pay tribute to the civil society work, focused on human rights, reconciliation, and the rule of law, in the conflict and post-conflict contexts.

The Council of Europe has seen within its member states multiple armed conflicts over the last couple of decades. Recently the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has shaken the diplomatic relations between Council of Europe states, but also international INGOs have seen their members opposing each other.

Unresolved conflicts continue to affect certain parts of the European continent, putting at risk the safety, unity, and democratic governance of societies, and threatening the populations concerned, including NGOs.

The Council of Europe has to contend with such situations. In these territories, the NGOs contribute significantly by documenting all kinds of human rights violations, bringing them to light, caring for victims and assisting them in seeking justice.

While certain information about the human rights situations in these regions is publicly available, less is known about the situation of civil society and NGOs, the environments they operate in and the challenges they are confronted with.

Top-down polarisation is a major issue and I will be talking about the social injustices that are faced when there is more and more ideological polarisation,” says Piotr.

“Radical ideologies and extreme approaches tend to fracture the mainstream of a democratic society, which was its point of balance. The extreme positions approach one another and divide society all levels of public and private life. In political debates the extreme groups amplify the tensions within communities that operate in a hostile climate marked by hate speech, negative stereotypes and prejudices addressed towards the ‘others’.

The junction between the politics and radical ideologies, or even political and religious fundamentalisms, restrict access to human and fundamental rights of LGBTQI people, women, migrants, minorities, and people in vulnerable situations. In this context, violence remains a part of public life for many people.

Register for the live stream HERE and use #WorldNGODay, @CoE_GoodGov, @CoE_NGO, @Volonteurope, @GenPiotr and of course, #EUFringe