Date:  February 27, 2021

Today is World NGO Day - a day to celebrate the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like CSW around the world.

Human rights NGOs help to protect and promote fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law.

CSW networks and collaborates with hundreds of NGOs around the world, empowering communities whose concerns may often be overlooked, amplifying these issues in international advocacy arenas, and whenever possible, providing a platform for them to address policy makers directly.

But there are many countries, including several on which CSW focuses, where the work of NGOs is not celebrated, but is instead stifled or shut down.

For example, In Egypt, a draconian NGO law has enabled the authorities to make use of restrictions and investigations into NGO funding, among other measures, to put pressure on those who speak out on human rights issues.

In November 2020 Egyptian police arrested three senior staff of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a human rights organisation working on freedom of religion or belief and gender equality, among other issues.

The three men were eventually released following sustained international pressure, but their arrests and detention provided a crucial reminder of the plight of NGOs in Egypt, and a worrying indicator that the country’s crackdown on human rights may be intensifying.

In summary, please pray:

  • Today, on World NGO Day, thank God for the NGOs around the world whose courage and determination play a vital role in promoting and protecting freedom of religion or belief, and other human rights.
  • Thank God for the release of the three staff of the EIPR, pray for their recovery from the trauma of their ordeal, and ask God to protect them and others from future harassment.
  • Pray that governments around the world would end their harassment of NGOs whose work advances fundamental rights and freedoms; and would repeal any legislation that restricts or obstructs this work.