Swiss NGO working group on the OSCE
The Swiss NGO working group to the OSCE comprises organisations who work to strengthen the human dimension issues (human rights, democracy, rule of law) during the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in 2014. The working group was founded in 2013 with a view to the 2014 Swiss Chairmanship.
Civil society and work of the OSCE
The NGO working group OSCE links Swiss NGO to OSCE processes and NGOs in other OSCE countries, closely cooperating with the Civic Solidarity Platform and NGO coalitions in the OSCE Chairmanship states (Serbia in 2015, Germany in 2016 and Austria in 2017). It supports an increased participation of NGOs from Switzerland at OSCE conferences on issues like human trafficking, gender/equality, Roma and Sinti, human rights advocates, torture, racism/intolerance/hate crimes, human rights issues in individual OSCE states or the conlict in the eastern Ukraine.
Among the important activities of the working group are its participation in seminars on the so-called human dimension of the OSCE process, in the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw in September/October as well as in the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference, organised at the end of the year by the country that holds the Chairmanship in the respective year.
Switzerland: critical dialogue with the Federal Authorities
The Swiss NGO working group on the OSCE leads a constant critical dialogue on OSCE topics with the FDFA.
In 2014, the working group accompanied the self-evaluation commissioned by the FDFA to the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) on the implementation of human rights obligations within the framework of the OSCE (in the areas of election monitoring, intolerance, hate crimes, racism, freedom of expression, human trafficking, gender issues and equal opportunities).
- Self-evaluation OSCE Chairmanship
Self-evaluation by Switzerland conducted by the SCHR, 24 October 2014 (pdf, 145 pages)
Structure of the working group
The NGO working group is an informal network which is open to further interested NGOs.
The working group was coordinated by humanrights.ch between 2013 and 2015.
As of 2016, Natascha Cerny of swisspeace is the person responsible.
The following organisations are involved in the working group:
- Alliance Sud
- Amnesty International AI
- Association for the Prevention of Torture apt
- Caritas Switzerland
- cfd The Feminist Peace Organisation
- FIZ Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking
- Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker GfbV
- Swiss Church Aid HEKS
- Human Rights House Network (HRHN)
- IFOR Schweiz
- Peace Women across the Globe
- Swiss Refugee Council
- Swiss Peace Council
- Swiss Helsinki Association (SHV)
- Swiss Peace Foundation