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Freedom in the World 2019

According to Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Report 2019, released last week, 2018 was the 13th year in a row showing an overall decline in global freedom and democracy. Despite this, Angola, who is classified as ‘Not Free’, increased by 5 points from 2017, making them the country with the 4th largest one-year gains in 2018.

Freedom in the World (FIW) is an annual global report on political rights and civil liberties covering 195 countries and 14 territories and comprises of numerical ratings and descriptive texts for each. The report is regarded as one of the leading global metrics for measuring democracy and freedom across the globe and is one of the most widely read rankings on human rights.

Freedom house uses in-house and external analysts and expert advisors to review each country on a yearly basis to prepare reports and assign scores. The analysis is based on news articles, academic analyses, NGO reports, individual professional contacts, and on-the-ground research. FIW assesses the real-world rights and freedoms that individuals enjoy, rather than analysing governments or government performance, therefore focussing on the implementation of rights in practice in each country.

The report ranks countries and territories as either Free, Partly Free or Not Free. There are 10 political rights indicators and 15 civil liberties indicators covering categories such as electoral process, functioning of government, freedom of expression and belief to rule of law and personal autonomy and individual rights. Each indicator receives a score from 0-4 whereby 0 equals the least amount of freedom and 4 equals the most amount freedom. Each country is then assigned a rating for political rights and one for civil liberties between 1 and 7 (1 represents most free, 7 represents least free) which are then averaged in order to calculate the country’s overall Freedom Rating determining the country’s status as either Free (1.0-2.5), Partly Free (3.0-5.0), or Not Free (5.5-7.0).

The 2019 FIW report highlights a downward trend in freedom and democracy globally since 2005. The surge of progress that was witnessed in the wake of the end of the cold war – whereby between 1988 and 2005 the percentage of countries ranked as not free decreased from 37 to 23 percent and the number of free countries grew from 36 to 46 percent – has begun to decline. Since 2005, the percentage of not free countries has risen to 26% and free countries declined to 44%. In 2018, every region, apart from the Asia-Pacific, received a lower average score than they did in 2005.

Despite this downward trend, more countries in 2018 made net improvements compared with 2017 and there were overall a smaller number of net declines. Ethiopia, Malaysia, Armenia, Angola, The Gambia, and Ecuador were the top six countries with score gains in 2018, and all have in common the emergence of a new leader/change in government and the introduction of reforms in response to demands for change from the public.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is another global measurement tool, focussing on perceived levels of corruption in the public sector. Published by Transparency International, the CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries or territories using surveys of business people and expert assessments. Each country/territory then receives a score between 0 and 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Similar to the results from FIW 2019, the 2018 CPI also found that the vast majority of countries are not making progress in the fight against corruption, highlighting that only 20 countries have made significant progress in recent years. The CPI, which was released one-week prior to the FIW report, notes the important link between corruption and democracy, which was further reinforced by the release of the FIW and its 2018 rankings. Both indices show that increased corruption/lack of controls on corruption have a negative effect on democracy. The CPI and FIW results highlight a vicious cycle whereby corruption undermines democratic institutions which in turn results in weak institutions unable to keep a check on corruption.

To read the full reports, please go to:

FIW 2019

CPI 2018

More information on the methodologies used can be found at:

Freedom in the World Report

Corruption Perceptions Index

Author: Hannah Hills

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Introduction of the human rights education project by Angolan media

An article in the Jornal de Angola has introduced the human rights education project and the role of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the training of officials of the Ministries, Provinces and members of Civil Society Organizations. Follow the link to read the article:

http://jornaldeangola.sapo.ao/politica/funcionarios_formados__em_direitos_humanos

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Visiting Scholar Programme 2018

For three-weeks from the end of November to beginning of December, The Governance Group, in conjunction with the University of Oslo’s Law Faculty, hosted two visiting scholars from Católica University in Angola to participate in a visiting scholar programme. The human rights programme aims to provide experts in Angola with the intellectual and research resources to develop leading academic research.

After an open call for applications, Margareth Nangacovie and João António Francisco from Católica University were chosen as the two visiting scholars.

Margareth was hosted at the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo and conducted research on the access of women to higher education from a comparative perspective between Angola and Norway, focussing on how to teach women’s law from the perspective of human rights using examples from Norway and elsewhere in Africa in order to inform the development of a similar course at the Católica University in Luanda.

Francisco was hosted at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights where he conducted research on sustainability and human rights in relation to businesses in Angola. He focused his research on the incorporation of a sustainability perspective with regards to business and human rights using the ‘Nordic model’ as an example of this.

Both scholars produced research articles on their respective topics and presented their research and findings at both the Law Faculty and Norwegian Centre for Human Rights while they were in Oslo.

After editing, both research articles will be made available on the Human Rights Education Project Portal.

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Media Diploma Course 2018

The ‘Oslo Professional Course’, a one-week training course for 5-7 participants from Angola hosted in Norway, is a key component of the Angola Human Rights Project. As part of this, The Governance Group in partnership with the Angolan Ministry of Justice and Human Rights offer an annual Media Training Diploma Course for Angolan professionals. The course provides first-hand introductions to key issues and challenges in the Norwegian media and communication sector as well as includes issues of relevance to the current Angolan and southern African context. The course focuses on freedom of expression and access to information, and the relationship between a changing media landscape and human rights.

This year, the Media Diploma Course took place in Oslo from the 22nd to 26th October. The course focused on how a free and independent media can play an important role in the protection of human rights, for example by providing an effective guarantee on government accountability and acting as a key check on corruption. In many societies, media can also be co-opted and have the opposite effect, fuelling instead prejudice and division. International law requires States to both refrain from controlling or restricting the media, as well as allowing a free and diverse media landscape by enabling the legal and regulatory environment. However, the media landscape both globally, regionally and nationally has changed fundamentally in recent years. The Internet, and social media especially, has taken a new position of importance as a platform for content distribution alongside traditional forms of media. The rise of the internet and social media has occurred rapidly, and they now hold a key influence over the visibility and accessibility of media and related content. Alongside the rise in internet and social media, there has been an increase in surveillance and monitoring of communications by States. Whilst this rapid change in the media landscape calls for more detailed regulation, there is a need for clear rules and restrictions, in order, to ensure freedom of expression on the internet. This year’s Media Diploma Course therefore aimed to enable professionals working in the media sector in Angola to have a better understanding of the role and impact of media and communication and its relationship to human rights amid the changing technological and regulatory landscape. The course was designed to broaden the participant’s perspectives and enhance their opportunities to integrate both key principles and practical approaches into their daily work.

During the week-long course, participants had both lecturers on the main topics, as well as visits to relevant institutions in Norway working in the media and communication sector. This year’s lecture topics included Local dilemmas and global challenges to freedom of expression and opinion; Ownership models, editorial policies and priorities in sub-Saharan Africa; Defamation; and Cyber security and human rights. The participants visited institutions such as Fritt Ord, the Norwegian Union of Journalists, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as attended and participated in an event on press freedom in Africa.

Press freedom and freedom of expression is increasingly coming under pressure and is of utmost importance in the current global context and The Governance Group looks forward to further collaboration on freedom of expression, media freedom and human rights with the graduates of the 2018 Media Diploma Course.

The participants have written a number of articles on the training and the project since returning to Angola, which can be found here: Angolan newspaper articles

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Visiting Scholar Programme

The Governance Group is pleased to announce that Dr. Emiliana Margareth Morais Nangacovie and Dr. João António Francisco have been selected to participate in our three-week Visiting Scholar Programme in Oslo in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law beginning in November this year.

Dr. Emiliana Margareth Morais Nangacovie will be conducting research on access of women to higher education from a comparative perspective between Angola and Norway. Dr. João António Francisco will be conducting research on the principle of sustainable development from an African perspective.

We look forward to welcoming our Visiting Scholars in the Fall and to share the new research they will produce.

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Visiting Scholar Opportunity

The Governance Group is pleased to announce that in the fall 2018, we will be hosting a three-week Visiting Researcher/Scholar Programme in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, that aims to provide experts in Angola with the intellectual and research resources to develop leading academic research. The Programme is open to Angolan scholars and/or persons affiliated to a human rights research project in Angola.

For more information about the opportunity and instructions on how to apply, please follow this link (Portuguese only):

Programa de Investigador(a) Convidado(a) 2018

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Oslo Diploma Course 2018

The 2018 Oslo Diploma Course (ODC) took place from the 23rd May to 8th June in Oslo, Norway. The ODC, part of the Angola Human Rights Project, is a three-week intensive course on international human rights law for participants from the Angolan government, civil society and academia. The three-week programme focuses on international and regional human rights norms and standards and existing mechanisms and challenges in relation to the implementation of these norms and standards. The ODC also addresses particular human rights issues identified as pertinent to Angola. For this year´s course, that included migration and asylum, trafficking, and African human rights instruments.

The 2018 ODC was implemented by The Governance Group in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. This year’s participants came from a variety of Angolan Government Ministries both at central and provincial levels, including the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Home Office, and the Ministry of Culture. In addition, we received participants from various civil society organisations including the Gender Observatory, Education for All, and the Association for Justice and Peace (AIPD).

Throughout the three weeks the participants attended lectures on international and regional human rights law, including refugee and asylum law, business and human rights, human rights and trafficking, and participated in a workshop on how to train others in human rights. Alongside their daily lectures, the participants also visited a number of Oslo-based institutions and organisations of relevance to Norway’s commitments to human rights, at home and abroad. These visits aimed to facilitate a more profound understanding of how human rights may be integrated in the day-to-day running of a society. Institutions visited included the Norwegian national human rights institution, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Parliament, and the UN Association of Norway. More practical visits also included an introduction to Bredtveit Prison, a women’s high security prison in Oslo, Refstad transit centre for asylum seekers, and Oslo Crisis Centre, an emergency centre for women, men and children who are exposed to violence in close relationships. (Please see our gallery page for more information on the various institutions that were visited.)

In addition, the 12 participants wrote papers on an Angola-specific human rights topic of their choice in order to further advance their knowledge of a particular topic and to contribute to a culture of human rights in Angola through the production of academic literature.

During their stay, the participants also had the opportunity to explore the city of Oslo and visited museums such as the Nobel Peace Centre, the Holocaust Museum, and took a boat trip on the Oslo fjord.

The overall aim of the ODC is to develop a basic theoretical and practical understanding of human rights. At the same time, the course creates space for discussion and prepares the ground for further cooperation between Angolan and Norwegian individuals and institutions. The course is designed to broaden the participants’ perspectives and enhance their opportunities to integrate both key principles and practical approaches into their daily human rights work in various sectors across state and civil society. The Governance Group looks forward to further collaboration on human rights in Angola with the graduates of the 2018 Oslo Diploma Course.

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Commencement of the Oslo Diploma Course 2018

Wednesday 23rd May marked the beginning of the 2018 Oslo Diploma Course as part of the Angola Human Rights Project. The Governance Group, in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights is hosting twelve participants from Angola for a three-week intensive course on international human rights law. The participants have been selected from various government ministries, civil society and academia in Angola.

The three-week programme focuses on international and regional human rights norms and standards and existing mechanisms and challenges in relation to the implementation of these norms and standards. The ODC also addresses particular human rights issues identified as pertinent to Angola. For this year´s course, that includes migration and asylum, trafficking and African human rights instruments. In order to maximize the participants’ understanding, the ODC combines lectures, group challenges and plenary discussions with other hands-on learning approaches. To facilitate a more profound understanding of how human rights may be integrated in the day-to-day running of a society, the course also consists of visits to Oslo-based institutions and organizations of relevance to Norway’s commitments to human rights, at home and abroad.

The ODC aims to develop a basic theoretical and practical understanding of human rights. At the same time, the course creates space for discussion and prepares the ground for further cooperation between Angolan and Norwegian individuals and institutions. The course is designed to broaden the participants’ perspectives and enhance their opportunities to integrate both key principles and practical approaches into their daily human rights work in various sectors across state and civil society.

The Oslo Diploma Course 2018 was opened by The Governance Group’s Managing Director, Joachim Nahem, at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, before the participants began their lectures on the origins of human rights and the UN human rights system.

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Human Rights Training in Angola

The Governance Group’s Research Director, Isabel Borges, was in Angola from the 29th April to 5th May 2018 to deliver trainings on human rights in cooperation with the Angola Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

During the weeklong trip, a training on how to teach human rights in law courses at universities in Angola was held at Agostinho Neto University. The event was opened by the Angolan Secretary of State for Human Rights, Ana Celeste Januario, alongside a representative from the Norwegian Embassy and the Dean of the University of Law. The Governance Group also participated at an event on children’s rights hosted by the Catholic University. Isabel ran a training on human rights methods as well as participating in a radio interview at Radio UNIA and Radio Escola alongside Jose da Silva from the Angolan Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, where they presented the Human Rights Training Project. The week concluded with a television interview between Isabel Borges, Birgitte Wilhelmsen from the Norwegian Embassy, and Jose Francisco from the Angolan Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. The interview discussed the cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Norwegian Embassy, as well as the upcoming programmes and events being held by The Governance Group in 2018.