Workshop for Civil Society Activists & Practitioners on Human Rights Empowerment

8 October, 2021

On 6-8 October the OSCE Academy hosted the International “Workshop: Human Rights in Central Asia: Troubled Nexuses between Internationalization and State Building” within the joint project with the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast Studies (IOS) in Regensburg (Germany), with support of the Working Group ‘Human Rights’ of the German Political Science Association (DVPW). This is already a second workshop of this project organized by Prof. Dr. Anja Mihr DAAD Associate Professor at the OSCE Academy and Dr. Cindy Wittke from IOS and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

During 3 days 12 civil society activists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan discussed whether and how a cooperation between academia and civil society from Germany and Central Asia could help in empowering human rights education and practice, as well as in improving rights awareness and visibility in both politics and society.

The workshop was launched by a Joint Conference for Scholars and Civil Society Activists and Practitioners focusing on Research and Teaching Human Rights. During this Conference participants of both workshops had an opportunity to discuss “Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence: Keeping you safe and free online?” with Dr. Joanna Kulesza, Professor of International Law and Internet Governance University of Lodz, Poland.

On 8 October Dr. Chiara Pierobon, Senior Research Fellow at Bielefeld University Germany and DAAD visiting lecturers at National University Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was invited to deliver a public talk on “EU’s support of civil society in Central Asia: assessing the substance of EIDHR, NSA/LA and IcSP.” The open lecture was based on 75+ semi-structured interviews carried out  with EU-funded civil society organisations (CSOs) and implementing partners in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the past 10 years and sheds light on the main outcomes and shortcomings of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and the EU thematic program CSO/LA in development.

This international workshop aimed at developing a better understanding of the tensions between internationalization and nation building in the politics of human rights in Central Asia (e.g. the implementation of international human rights standard and how struggles with reforms impact nation states in this region).


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