Local February 26, 2024 | 1:00 pm

‘More Rights’ project empowers civil society for human rights in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- The project “More Rights,” initiated by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Ciudad Alternativa, the Research Center for Women’s Action (CIPAF), and the Comprehensive Center for Local Development (CIDEL), and supported by the European Union, was launched on Thursday. This initiative aims to strengthen the participation and impact capacities of civil society organizations in public agendas and political dialogues, with a focus on advancing gender justice, decent work, and socio-ecological transformation.

Recognizing the pivotal role of civil society organizations in advocating for progressive structural changes to ensure citizens’ rights and well-being, the project seeks to create a space for ongoing collaboration between these organizations and political actors committed to a rights agenda. The More Rights project will facilitate the coordination of efforts, promoting proposals for legislative and policy reforms that drive social and ecological transformation, with a specific emphasis on the crucial roles of women and young people.

Key figures involved in the project’s launch event included Melvin Assin, Head of EU Cooperation in the Dominican Republic; Gilbert Kluth, Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; Jose Jacquez, President of CIDEL; Ana Vásquez, Executive Director of CIDEL; Syra Taveras, Executive Director of CIPAF; Ricardo González, Executive Director of Ciudad Alternativa; and Paula Rodríguez, Project Coordinator of the Ebert Foundation.

Melvin Assin outlined the European Union’s key commitments to advancing human rights in the country during the event. The program included a panel discussion addressing gaps in guaranteeing human rights in the Dominican Republic. Researcher Lety Melguen explored the Dominican collective imagination on human rights, examining its correlation with current statistics and the quality of democracy. She discussed the potential transformation of this collective imagination and the role civil society organizations (CSOs) can play in contributing to this change.

Guadalupe Valdez, Executive Secretary of Foro Ciudadano, emphasized leveraging the capacities of Dominican civil society organizations to deepen an agenda that prioritizes human rights, gender justice, decent work, and sustainability.

The event also featured the presentation of the third edition of Poletika, a tool that monitors, analyzes, and influences the electoral speeches and programs of presidential candidates, evaluating their commitment to guaranteeing rights.

The culmination of the event included an artistic presentation by the Teatro Alternativo group, underscoring the importance of art as a means to express and promote human rights. A dedicated space for direct interaction with the press allowed for additional questions and comments.

The launch of “More Rights” signifies the commencement of a crucial phase in promoting the human rights agenda in the Dominican Republic, affirming the commitment of all stakeholders involved in this collaborative project.

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