Advocacy and Civil Society Mobilization

Advocacy and civil society mobilization are essential elements of a vibrant civil society and thriving democracy. Citizens and communities gather around common goals and shared values in order to affect decision-making processes through collective actions. Advocacy and civil society mobilization have become the most common channels used by civil society organizations to engage in policy development, and to hold government to account. The FHR is actively engaged in advocacy activities, and facilitates and supports civil society mobilization at both grass-roots and national levels.

Why advocacy and civil society mobilization?

The FHR believes in social change. Social change will only happen if driven by active citizenry and thriving civil society. For this reason:

The FHR has become an interlocutor between civil society and government
The distinctive role of the FHR in South Africa has allowed it to build a solid relationship with the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD), as well as with other government departments and agencies and Chapter Nine institutions, while maintaining a high profile in the human rights sector. This has enabled us to occupy a unique position vis a vis these stakeholders. By facilitating national dialogue processes between different players, the FHR has created a space for civil societies of all sizes to contribute to national human rights debates. In particular, the FHR is able to facilitate consultation by government and input by civil society across all the provinces.

A national convener for civil society mobilization
Through having a national footprint and established relationships with a wide range of civil society organizations, including community-based organizations, the FHR is uniquely positioned to act as a convener for civil society mobilization. Over the last 20 years, the FHR has continuously supported civil society and social movements through proactively providing resources and support to networks of civil society actors working towards common goals.

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“A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option — for peace cannot exist where justice is not served."

John Robert Lewis, American civil rights activist and congressman

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