Analytics and Interview

On 16 January 2015 late in the evening the website of the Ministry of Justice published a statement that the NGO Committee Against Torture had been added to the register of non-profit organizations designated as ‘foreign agents’.
Tanya Lokshina is the Russia program director at Human Rights Watch and Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement: As the crisis in Ukraine escalated this spring, the Kremlin’s vicious crackdown on civil society also escalated. Space for independent civic activity in Russia is shrinking dramatically, but international policymakers and the media have been understandably too distracted to do much about it. Since early spring, it seems as though every week brings a new pernicious law or legislative proposal.
Earlier this year, the correspondent of Youth Human Rights Movement from Germany Jakob Stürmann interviewed Konstantin Baranov, member of the Coordination Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement. They discussed so called “law against homosexual propaganda” and the overall situation of LGBT in Russia.  

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Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy have been held in Russian jails for two years already under fabricated charges of ‘terrorism’. We consider it being necessary to express solidarity with those who are persecuted due to their pro-Ukrainian views, civic stand and desire for freedom in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Helsinki Committee of Armenia has published “Human Rights in Armenia 2014” Annual Report. The report reflects on the Right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Political Persecutions, Freedom of Conscience and Religion, The Rights of the Child, Protection of Labor Rights.
«We have a few questions for you,» a border guard told Sinaver Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist, at the Armyansk checkpoint in northern Crimea on Jan. 23. Kadyrov was on his way to Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to fly to Turkey for medical treatment. It was the beginning of an ordeal that ended with a local court expelling him from Crimea, his home of almost 25 years.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

Mark Twain


Youth Human Rights Movement

World Youth Movement for Democracy meets in Kyiv


On April 8, the functional workshop of the World Youth Movement for Democracy (WYMD) was organized in Kyiv in the framework of the Fifth Assembly of the WMD, of which it is a youth wing.

The workshop, moderated by Anastasia Nikitina, head of the WYMD regional secretariat for Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS countries, brought together about 30 participants representing youth democracy groups and the organizations working with youth from all the parts of the world.

It was 4 years ago at the Third Assembly in Durban that the WYMD was institutionalized. Until last year it was managed by the Secretariat based on the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) Latin American headquarters in Brazil, but was then transferred to the International Youth Human Rights Movement office in Kyiv. This provides a unique opportunity to develop the youth democracy network in the CEE & Eurasia region where it's not very strong up to the moment.
Formerly the Secretariat mainly played the role of facilitating communication and information exchange between WYMD participants and involving new young people into democratic movement. But according to the recent decisions of the Working Committee (the WYMD's steering body) the new Secretariat staff sees its mission in developing the Movement as a network of networks, both topical and regional, which will help to fill it with real activity.

A list of project ideas supposed to be developed either globally or regionally was presented to the participants, who were also invited to share their ideas in working groups and contribute with their proposals on how to make the work of WYMD more effective and develop it as a strong community of activists worldwide.

The key dilemma for WYMD voiced up at the workshop is either to be merely an appendage to the "adult" World Movement (similar to the majority of existing political parties' youth chapters), or to create a new generation of activists with their own agenda that can then be also proposed to the "adult" movement.
The discussion revealed that the participants think that the WYMD must have its own agenda and as a youth movement can be more radical in comparison with the "adult" one. It was also pointed out that the Movement should make wider use of the already existent mechanisms at the regional level where possible.

Speaking about the plans for future activities, the idea of the complex program "Youth for Defending Civil Society" intended to address the issues of persecuting young activists and youth organizations in different countries was announced.

The WYMD regional secretariat for CEE & NIS