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Human Rights, Democracy and Civic Space in Africa & the Middle East

26.02.2024 - 26.02.2024

Launch event of the Civic Space Initiative 

In response to challenges facing civil spaces, the Civic Space Initiative takes the spotlight. Spearheaded by the Minister of Development Cooperation, this initiative aims to strengthen civil society, advocate for human rights, and foster democracy in specific partner nations in Africa and the Middle East.  

Join the Civic Space Initiative Launch on February 26th in Mechelen and get to know the selected projects. Connect with influential voices, gain insights from esteemed speakers, and contribute to the vital dialogue on protecting human rights and advancing democracy in challenging environments. You can participate either in person or remotely via live streaming.


Understanding the Civic Space Initiative

The Civic Space Initiative provides financial support to local, Belgian, or international NGOs operating in Belgian partner countries. The focus is on protecting human rights defenders, preserving civil and political freedoms (including freedom of speech, assembly, and association), promoting fair elections, ensuring the rule of law, and combating impunity and corruption. 

With a budget of 10 million EUR, the Civic Space Initiative was launched in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Palestine.



The launch of the Civic Space Initiative is jointly organized by the Minister of Development Cooperation and Kazerne Dossin, memorial, museum, and research centre on Holocaust and human rights. Drawing on the historical narrative of Jewish persecution and the Holocaust, Kazerne Dossin leverages its historical account to delve into contemporary issues. Central to its mission are principles of citizenship, democratic resilience, and the unwavering defense of individual basic freedoms. 

  • February 26th 2024, 3:00 pm (start event) - 4:45 pm (start reception)
  • Venue: Predikheren, Goswin de Stassartstraat 88, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium
  • Target audience: Human rights professionals, activists and academics


Join us for insightful discussions, aspirational reflections, and networking opportunities at the Civic Space Initiative Launch Event. You can participate either in person or remotely via live streaming.

Register here