Freedom House works in Eurasia to protect professional and citizen journalists, to bolster activist capacity, and to support LGBTI rights activists.
In Belarus, Freedom House bolsters the capacity of activists by training them on advocacy techniques and on curbing human rights violations perpetrated by the government. We train lawyers on data collection and reporting so as to create an archive of these human rights abuses with the goal of bringing those responsible to judicial accountability.
In Kazakhstan, we work with prominent human rights organizations and religious communities to advocate against the government’s repeated attempts to institute repressive religious laws.
Freedom House works in Ukraine to protect professional and citizen journalists, to empower and support their efforts to impartially cover developments in Ukraine, and to uncover corruption.
Freedom House recently released an assessment of freedom of expression in Ukraine during its 2013 chairmanship of the OSCE, which found that key protections for journalists and the media are lacking, the media is suffering a crisis of journalistic standards, and oligarchs shamelessly exploit media for personal power and gain. In 2011 and 2012, Freedom House conducted high-level missions to assess democratic developments in Ukraine and participated in a press freedom mission. These reports can be found here.
Shining a Light on Corruption in Ukraine
Through our program, Shining a Light on Corruption in Ukraine, we train and support citizen journalists and activists on investigating corruption and provide a platform for publishing and distributing their investigative reports so that they can reach a wider audience. Freedom House works with the Institute for Mass Information (IMI) in Ukraine to improve coverage of corruption, to inject a public discussion about corruption and governance into local affairs through citizen journalism, and to provide a platform for investigations of local-level corruption to be published and distributed.
We conduct workshops to train activists, bloggers, and journalists to conduct investigations and write about corruption. Dozens of activists, bloggers, and journalists have participated in the basic- and advanced-level workshops so far with more planned in the near future. We are also hoping to make our curriculum available to a broader group of activists and bloggers by beginning a distance education program to be completed online.
Together with IMI, we sponsor a platform – Nikorupciji.org – that publishes news and investigative articles on corruption. Workshop participants, civil-society activists, citizen journalists, and others contribute to the platform with articles and video reports about investigations, news on corruption, columns and blogs, and are developing an online community of anti-corruption activists and journalists. This platform has been a key outlet for Ukrainian activists to disseminate information about local affairs on a wider level and a nexus of information for citizens in the Ukraine’s regions.
Defending LGBT Rights in Ukraine
Through our work in Defending LGBTI Rights in Ukraine, we have helped developed the campaigning capacities of LGBTI rights advocates and amplified their message through advocacy at the national and international levels.Freedom House supports LGBTI rights activists in Ukraine and advocates on the national and international level for respect for the rights of LGBT people and activists by the Ukrainian authorities. Upcoming initiatives on LGBTI rights in Ukraine include building the capacity of Ukrainian LGBTI rights advocates to engage the media to improve coverage of LGBTI people and LGBTI rights on- and off-line. By harnessing Freedom House's worldwide experience and best practices developed by LGBTI activists in Russia and elsewhere, Freedom House helps give voice to Ukrainian LGBTI rights activists, to amplify their message, and to strengthen local groups' ability to push for greater respect for human rights.