Bahrain Monitor - A Monthly Newsletter on the Human Rights Situation in Bahrain
Hasan Moosa Shafaei

A Conference for Human Rights Societies is Needed

Hasan Moosa Shafaei

Bahraini politicians are pragmatic! They have the opportunity to meet and debate political issues that concern them in the Parliament. And despite all their differences everyone is keen to be involved in the political process. The political game imposes on everyone, including the Government, to show a plausible degree of openness and cooperation despite the diversity of opinions and positions, the differences in points of views and approaches and the variety of ideologies and methods.

The seven youth societies have established their own framework in which they can discuss their issues and problems. Their last meeting took place last month. And the various women’s societies are organized under the umbrella of the Women’s Union and the Supreme Council for Women.

By contrast, human rights societies are still divided and weakened by rivalry, clashes, conflicting political positions and priorities. From this stems the need for an umbrella that includes all human rights defenders and initiates serious dialogue in periodical conferences which will ultimately serve all the defenders and improve the human rights situation to a greater extent.

By holding a national human rights conference, it is possible for activists to reach a shared vision and evaluation regarding the entire political as well as the human rights situations and discuss their common discourse and the best way of dealing with various subjects. This would lead to the unification of positions towards specific issues, and thus the formation of significant weight at the domestic arena, which can be used to influence decision-makers and legislators, . It would also be possible to benefit from the conference when proposing a project that aims to inform the community and activate its role.

During the proposed conference, the activists would be able to discuss co-operation between their societies and shared concerns such as training, media, international presence and financing etc. The conference can also discuss controversial issues, if any, and minimize competition between societies, and curtail the role of ideological and political differences, so that does not prevent agreement on the common issues.

The Bahrain Human Rights Monitor (BHRM) sees the need for dialogue and holding human rights conferences. BHRM also believes that the Bahrain Human Rights Society is best placed to take this initiative forward, removing unnecessary worries and bringing different points of views and ideologies closer together. This is because the Society is mature, wise in dealing with problematic issues and an expert in this field.