Freedom House, Russian Rights Groups Announce New Partnership

Washington

Freedom House, the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Youth Human Rights Movement announced a new partnership today, aimed at strengthening ties between civil society groups in Russia and the United States in order to jointly support democracy, rule of law, and human rights activists worldwide.

The American-Russian Civil Dialogue will also provide a framework for a larger role of civil society institutions in both countries by seeking to create a system for mutual support and common action aimed at advancing human rights standards.

"We believe our own advocacy efforts will be strengthened by joining with Russian partners more frequently on matters of shared interest," said Thomas O. Melia, Freedom House deputy executive director. "We hope the dialogue being launched today will formalize an already effective partnership between American and Russian civil society groups working together to promote human rights and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide."

The American-Russian Civil Dialogue will conduct joint research projects and advocacy on important human rights issues and present findings at international gatherings. In the coming months, the partners plan to hold a follow-up meeting of the US-Russian Civil Society Forum that took place in Moscow on July 6-7, 2009 and to continue to discuss the role of human rights in the bilateral relations. The American-Russian Civil Dialogue invites other civil society groups to join in common initiatives to advance the cause of human rights around the world.

“We believe it is essential to formulate common platforms of issues. Civil society has to play a more significant role not only in bilateral relations between our countries, but also on the international level. The partnership seeks to work in solidarity with democracy and human rights activists working in various countries,” said Dmitri Makarov, Youth Human Rights Movement program coordinator.

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization created in 1941, supports the expansion of freedom in the world, through analysis, advocacy and action in support of peers worldwide. Moscow Helsinki Group is the oldest active human rights organization in Russia, established in 1976. Youth Human Rights Movement is an international network of individuals and youth groups, created in 1998 with the goal of creating a new generation of human rights and civil society activists.

 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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