UN intimidation session

Side-event: Protection, Prevention Against, and Reporting on Intimidation or Reprisals for Cooperation with the UN


Date Time: Mar 3, 2022 08:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

This important event has been recorded and we will post the recording soon.

As per the OHCHR, over the past years, the reported number and severity of reprisals and intimidation against individuals and groups engaging with the UN have increased. They take on different forms, such as:

– Travel bans
– Threats and harassment, including by officials
– Smear campaigns
– Surveillance
– Introduction of restrictive legislation
– Physical attacks
– Arbitrary arrest and detention
– Torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence or denial of access to medical attention
– Killings  

This session therefore discussed the protection, prevention against, and reporting on Intimidation or Reprisals for Cooperation with the UN. It was moderated by Victoria Diaz-Garcia.

Devan Zingler of the NGO Forum for CSW66, says they monitor their email account which they set up specifically to ensure that any complaints on the topic they receive is taken care of. This may be viewed here and how to make a report of an issue: https://www.youtube.com/c/NGOCSWNY

Lina Abu Habib from Lebanon said that even in virtual environments of CSW66, we are not safe. Many organizations participating are not feminist and definitely not interested in human rights. An example of that is not just zoom-bombing, but it is taking our space and making, for example as happened last year, queer activists feeling threatened. The face to face struggle is different from virtual. It is an exposure and the possibility of being tracked, recorded, harassed in virtual environments. We need to be mindful of our own role. We owe it to ourselves to free ourselves from patriarchy and free our spaces.

Others also spoke from the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Martin Bourgeaud of the Committtee on the Protection, and Prevention of Reprisals, Umayra Ahmed, and others. Ahmed spoke of authoritarianism and warned of the reactions to the gains women made and urged the need to protect our spaces.