Originally, the idea to form Solidarity Group came about in 2014, when it became clear that pressure on civil society organisations was felt not only in Russia but in several EU countries as well.  Forum members realised that it was time to take joint action. Last year, the Group members developed Organisational Principles and Strategy, which laid foundation for the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum solidarity work.

Forum solidarity work is aimed at raising awareness of the situation with member organisations of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum under threat/ risk, as well as organising solidarity actions and providing prompt assistance to the Forum member organisations and external organisations and activists in need, whose cases might have an impact on the situation with the civil society in a specific country or region.

The basis for the solidarity work form the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights “Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders”, European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” adopted by the UN General Assembly.

The Solidarity Group welcomes information and appeals for help from any Forum members and non-members.  The group will assess the information and decide whether any assistance can be provided and/or how solidarity can be expressed. Depending on the specific situation, the Group can organize solidarity mission to attend court hearing or public protest or issue a statement.

The Forum is not able to provide financial assistance of any kind. However, in cases when life or freedom of an individual activist is at risk the Group may be able to refer the activist to an organization, which provides assistance in emergency situations.

To contact the group please write to the Group’s coordinator at the Secretariat Daria Bykova at:
daria.bykova@eu-russia-csf.org.