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Urgent statement on civic space in Iraq, Kazakhstan, Honduras and other countries

Statements

Publish What You Pay (PWYP) believes that civic participation and unrestricted civil society are a prerequisite for a world where the extractive industries benefit, and do not harm, people. As we enter a new year of continuing health, economic and climate crises, a strong civil society remains a bedrock of recovering and moving forward.

As members of the PWYP Global Council and the EITI International Board we express our concern that in several countries PWYP members and other civil society actors face increasingly hostile and obstructive environments whilst peacefully conducting their work to secure good natural resource governance. This includes reports that some governments ignore the rules and spirit of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) regarding the rights to participate of civil society organisations (such as in Iraq), or seek to intimidate civil society organisations to stop them investigating corruption and mismanagement in the extractive industries (such as in Kazakhstan, where the government imposed a fine and punishment on PWYP member Echo on 15 January 2021), or harass and attack civil society actors who engage peacefully in public dialogue (such as in Honduras) . Recently, with the joint efforts of the international community, Maïkoul Zodi, Moudi Moussa and Halidou Mounkaila – members of the PWYP global coalition in Niger – have been released from jail, after spending six months on unsubstantiated allegations.

As the world faces renewed challenges in 2021, the risks to civic space continue to grow. NGOs that track public policy on natural resources, monitor government and company compliance and ethical conduct, and demand transparent governance should feel protected and able to do their jobs effectively for the cause of preserving the common good and future generations. Only then will sustainable development of countries and successful resolution of the current crises be possible.

The PWYP Global Council and civil society members of the EITI International Board stand in solidarity with all members of our movement across the world.

We call on the international community, including the EITI, governments, intergovernmental organisations and international donors, to pay close attention to the state of civic space, particularly in resource-rich countries, and to ensure civil society concerns are heard and responded to.

 

PWYP Global Council

Adnan Bahiya, Iraq (MENA); Athayde Motta, Brazil (Latin America); Chadwick Llanos, Philippines (Asia Pacific); Dupleix Kuenzob, Cameroon (Africa Steering Committee); Gloria Majiga, Malawi (Anglophone Africa); Joe Williams, UK (Global Reach); Mariatou Amadou, Niger (Francophone Africa); Miles Litvinoff, UK (Europe and North America); Olena Pavlenko, Ukraine (Eurasia), Chair

EITI International Board

Cesar Gamboa, Peru; Diana El Kaissy, Lebanon; Mariya Lobacheva, Kazakhstan; Cielo Magno, Philippines; Brice Mackosso, Republic of Congo; Mtwalo Msoni, Zambia; Oleksiy Orlovsky, Ukraine; Oscar Pineda, Mexico; Simon Taylor, UK; Erica Westenberg, USA

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