Senior Research Fellow takes part in UN consultation

Karen Bennett was part of a consultation group for the UN report, Safeguarding Civil Society Spaces.

Date: 28 October 2016

A London Met Senior Research Fellow has been involved with the consultation contributing to the United Nations (UN) initiative to safeguard civil society spaces.

Karen Bennett, Senior Research Fellow in Human Rights at the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute (HRSJ) at London Met, was part of a UK consultation group, organised by Amnesty International UK, tasked with helping to highlight the benefits of creating and maintaining an enabling environment for civil society.

In the report to the UN General Assembly Practical, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights provides a compilation of practical recommendations to achieve this goal based on good practice. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, described this initiative as “vital to promote international peace and security.”

Karen said: “International law protects the rights and participation of civil society actors, and yet governments are actively violating these rights in attempts to shrink civil society space worldwide.

“Some actions to supress civil society space take the form of serious human rights violations, including the killing of human rights defenders. This UN report should serve as a catalyst, bringing attention to UN member states, non-state actors and the international community at all levels, to the problems civil society actors are facing throughout the world and best practice measures to protect and create open spaces for civil society to thrive.”

The HRSJ was created in 2003 to facilitate multi-disciplinary research, policy analysis, training, teaching and consultancy. One of the Institute’s main aims is to generate collaboration between academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines, including international relations. It is based within London Met’s School of Social Sciences.