On January 15th 2016, the World Solidarity Forum set up an event in order to further connect with human rights NGOs from around the world. After the meeting in December, a formal proposal for the project was prepared and more organisations were invited to take part in the initiative.
Over 20 different institutions were present at the event; all participants were representatives of the Brussels offices, but most of the organisations have offices in various countries of the world. Besides these representatives, independent human rights activists and advocates also attended the event , interested to take part in the project and help for future events. The discussion was led by freelance trainer and project manager, Edouard Portefaix.
During the event, the participants discussed three main topics related to solidarity between human rights organisations and activists. First, the discussion highlighted the need of a strong partnership , meaning that all participants should come together and bring resources when supporting a cause. This way, more people can get involved and raise awareness on different global issues. Secondly, future actions were considered; for example, online campaigns, informative seminars, fundraising and advocacy campaigns or human rights awareness events (on various topics). Thirdly, every organisation proposed ways of helping out under the World Solidarity Forum, such as increasing the platform’s visibility and promoting its causes and initiatives. Moreover participants debated the need for more collaborative actions regarding human rights issues such as women’s rights, quality education for all, gender equality, poverty and hunger eradication, and state and military oppression .
Towards the end of the evening, it was concluded that the WSF will aim to be a platform where partners can share resources and good case practices on different human rights pillars. Through a strong collaboration among organisations and individuals based upon these pillars, and sustained by different activities (i.e. campaigns, advocacy, pressure on policymakers), we can pave an innovative way to solving conflict. A network of this kind will enable participants to come together and organise impactful projects, and most importantly, raise awareness on issues that matter.