Another new NGO – why?
Up to now there it seems that there was no other organization which commits its efforts to the Political and Civil Human Rights in dictatorial and authoritative regimes in the ways we consider it as necessary. We want to focus especially on this topic and assign it the highest priority. Many of our members already have long term experience with Human Rights situation in Belarus. Libereco was established out of the need to react immediately to the various violations of the mentioned Human Rights in this country. For this intention a (yet) small and flexible organization seemed best suited to us, along with short ways of communication and above all with a lot of personal contacts to Belarusian citizens and organizations. From the start it was our goal to keep the organization open to establish similar connections and forms of action for other countries as well. Therefore we need new members who have a special interest to incorporate their own concerns and personal connections. The focus on Belarus is just our starting point.
Of course there exist more organizations trying to achieve the same or similar aims as we do. Wherever it is possible we look forward and search for the cooperation of these organizations. But above that we initiate actions on cases which are not yet adopted by any other organization.
Why do we restrict ourselves to certain Human Rights?
Less is more. In the field of Human Rights many organizations exist, that work actively and successfully on specific aspects. Most of these organizations focus their efforts on central issues (i.e., Reporters Without Borders on freedom of press, Pro Asyl on the security of refugees, Terre des Hommes on the rights of children). By concentrating on the field of Political and Civil Human Rights we can coordinate our recourses more determined and efficient. This way we can better observe the adherence to these rights and we can react to their breeches more directly. The public and also the victims of violations against these rights better perceive our organisation due to its clear profile. Finally, we can mobilize more people for cooperation against these violations.
Why do we concentrate on the Political and Civil Human Rights?
It is exactly the validity of the Political and Civil Human Rights that are often perceived as naturally given in our society. That is why we want to point out violations against these rights in other societies.
Even today, in many dictatorships and authoritarian regimes humans are still pursued, and their rights of holding opinions, of association and assembly, of freedom of press, religion and believe are restricted. We believe that it is utterly important to support these repressed and subdued individuals. And for that reason we think it necessary that organizations exist which claim it their central sphere of action to inform about the Political and Civil Human Rights and their violations.
The Political and Civil Human Rights are often called the “classical Human Rights” or the “fundamental freedoms”, and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Human Rights (1966) they were authoritatively recorded. The so called “Second-Generation Human Rights” summarize the Economical, Social and Cultural Human Rights which have been neglected for a long time. The fact that many Human Rights organizations nowadays focus their efforts on these relatively new established rights, attracted the public awareness on them.
In our opinion the establishment of the Political and Civil Human Rights is a prerequisite (“prerequisite” impliziert “necessary”) for the reconsideration and appliance of further rights. Only those who are able to utter their opinion freely are also able to point out social grievances according to Second-Generation Human Rights. Only those, who are able to assemble freely are also able to organize themselves for the improvement of social deficiencies in their country.
With our restriction to the Political and Civil Human Rights we don’t want to claim these rights superior to others, because Human Rights can’t be negotiated – especially not against each other. But we want to keep them in public memory.
What are our intentions?
We want to gather information on violations of Political and Civil Human Rights, which we will compile, edit and finally publish. We want to mobilize and sensitize the public, to protest with appeals and actions against Human Rights violations and in this way to support an improvement of the Human Rights situation in general. We want to help the victims of Human Rights violations and assure them of our solidarity.
How do we want to achieve our goals?
We inform about Human Rights violations and call for public protest against them. It is important to create an overwhelming public pressure on the officials responsible, in order to stop these violations. This we want to achieve by the work of our active members and an intensive cooperation with press and lobbies.
What do we want to achieve with our actions?
We want to create publicity for Human Rights violations, and we want to stop them by protesting. We hope that many people, together with us, won’t overlook existing injustice, but raise their voice against it and support the victims of these Human Rights violations. In a long term view we hope, that countries where people are pursued because they spoke out their opinion or demonstrated peacefully will abandon these ways of treating their citizens.
Do all this efforts pay back?
The work of other Human Rights organizations to which we feel associated, has indeed experienced success in the last decades. Thousands of political prisoners were released, the death penalty is being abandoned worldwide and last but not least international juridical institutions, i.e. the International Court of Justice, were established.
We will inform you about the success of our own efforts.
Is our work is still necessary today?
Unfortunately there are still countries, even in our close surroundings, were Human Rights, which seem merely naturally to us, are mistreated and ignored. Even today thousands of people are imprisoned in the jails of dictatorial and authoritarian regimes. As long as there are politically persecuted people the support for them will be necessary. It is still utterly important to become active for the Political and Civil Human Rights as every day people are pursued because they utter their opinions, exercise their religious believes or try to get socially engaged.
On which countries does Libereco focus its activities?
Our main focus is on countries that have a dictatorial or authoritarian governmental system. We want to support the people which suffer political persecution in these states. Our first country in focus is Belarus. The work on other countries is under progress and is primarily dependent on the activity and dedication of new members, we are looking forward to welcome.
What does the “Partnership” in our name stand for?
“Partnership” signifies that we work together with other organizations and initiatives. In countries were there exist violations of Human Rights we rely on information of local Human Rights organizations, or, if this is not possible, of their representatives abroad. Along with the special needs of these organisations and their suggestions we make Human Rights violations public and call for actions against them – in this way we try to help the victims as much as possible.
Together with organizations and initiatives from all over the world we develop and coordinate common actions and calls for appeal in order to mobilize many people to act against and to end Human Rights violations.
Which other NGOs do we cooperate with?
According to our topics and focus we cooperate with organizations and initiatives that share similar goals concerning specific issues. The cooperation in a specific case or action does not necessarily imply our general agreement with our partners general aims or opinions on other topics. That is especially true for political statements and claims.
Is Libereco bound to specific religious, party’s or ideological views?
Libereco a non-religious and non-party organization. We are open for people of all religions and believes, who share our humanitarian ideals.
Libereco dissociates itself harshly from all racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic organizations.
Why to donate money?
Libereco is financially supported by membership fees, donations, grants from public trusts and support programs. To keep our independence we refuse money offered by governments. Only by donations as our main source of financial support our work is possible.
What your donation can achieve – what do we use donations for?
For 10 Euro we can keep our website online for 12 days.
For 55 Euro we are able to pay the postal charges of letters to 100 members of the Bundestag and can bring recent Human Rights violations to their immediate attention.
For 200 Euro we are able to print 5000 postcards of appeal (by sustainable and ecological means, of course).
For 500 Euro we can represent and communicate our aims in a wide public for 3 days with an information desk in e.g. the Oecumenical Kirchentag in Munich.
Who can become a member of Libereco?
Every person who wants to become active against and support the victims of violations of the Political and Civil Human Rights can become a member. A member has to agree with the general objectives of Libereco. If that person’s age is below 16 membership is possible with the parent’s approval.
You can become a member of the German association of Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights e.V. The membership in our Swiss section is possible as well. Even persons not resident in either Germany or Switzerland can become members.
Members have to pay a annual membership fee and are able to actively participate in the proclamation of new objectives, actions and the further development of Libereco. Members have both active and passive voting rights in the general meeting of members.
What does a member of Libereco do?
As a member you have the possibility to work actively in Libereco. Active participation is not an obligatory requirement for the membership. Every member can become active and involved in Libereco as it suites her/his personal interests and available time.
There are various ways for an active participation in different fields of application:
- Information gathering in Human Rights violations
- Compilation of case studies, letters of appeal or calls for action
- Planning, coordination and organization of actions and campaigns
- Local organization of information desks and events
- Editorial maintenance of website and newsletter
- Programming and improvement of the website and its interactive elements
- Supervision and care for profiles in social networks (Fecebook, Twitter)
- Creation of materials for actions with regard to graphical appearance and content (flyer, posters, post cards)
- Lobbying activities with parliamentarians
- Maintenance of contacts and communication with partners and multiplicators
- Internal administration (member and donator care)
- Foundation of new local branches of Libereco
- Translation of texts (german-english and the other way round, for now)
… and of course we welcome you to introduce any of your own ideas concerning the active work in the organization!
How much is the membership fee?
Members in the German association pay an annual fee of 50 Euro or reduced 30 Euro. In Switzerland the annual fee is 80 Swiss Francs or reduced 40 Swiss Francs.