Democracy, Human Rights & Governance

In southern Africa, like in many parts of the world, repressive and undemocratic regimes are stepping up their assault on the political and democratic space for social movements, civil society and activists to organize. Whereas the SADC regional block’s response to conflict countries or crisis hot spots in the region such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique and Madagascar has been slow and more aligned towards protecting the regimes of the day, new forms of people’s resistance are emerging to reclaim human rights and challenge unjust power. It emerged from shared experiences and subsequent conversations at various SAPSN convened SADC People’s Summits that a coordinated and stronger than ever social movements and civil society voice is needed to develop and strengthen solidarity networks across borders, which allows the different social movements and activists, civil society organizations and NGOs, and other non-state actors to run organically connected campaigns when democracy and social justice is under threat in individual countries and by extension in the sub-region.
This thematic area has hitherto, not been integrated into SAPSN’s work, thus this represents a strategic shift aimed at building a full circle type of solidarity informed by the principle that there cannot be economic justice without robust systems and strong institutions fostering peace, security and political freedom. Big issues informing programming pathways under this theme are:
a) Democratic Elections & Political Processes
b) Rule of Law and access to justice
c) Transparency & Accountability of Public Institutions & Administration
d) Corruption (across the spectrum)