Addressing urgent global challenges.
For many, 2021 was dominated by the continuing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as nations navigated their way through the many challenges it posed.
In many of the countries on which CSW works, the same was true. But at the same time, new urgent challenges needed to be addressed: military coups brought unrest in Myanmar/Burma and Sudan, peaceful calls for freedom and basic rights in Cuba were met with a harsh crackdown on citizens, atrocity crimes and grave human rights crises unfolded in Tigray, and Nigeria was a nation in crisis.
CSW’s team moved quickly to implement advocacy interventions in the face of urgent global challenges, while maintaining unwavering and persistent advocacy for those whose stories did not feature in media headlines and whose plight often goes unnoticed.
Working with local partners, affiliate offices across the world, and by mobilising a global network of supporters, we continued to raise our voices and work for justice and freedom. No matter how long it takes.
The impact of our work in 2021...
‘Not buying it’ campaign breakthrough
On 6 January 2021, Marks & Spencer became the first top-tier global retailer to publicly sign the Brand Commitment to Exit the Uyghur Region, providing assurance to its customers that its products won’t be linked to the abuses of Uyghurs.
Myanmar: Campaigning in the aftermath of the coup
In response to the military coup in Myanmar, our advocacy team quickly implemented advocacy, campaigning and media strategies calling for targeted sanctions and a global arms embargo.
Pakistan: Death sentence overturned
On 3 June, a Christian couple sentenced to death for blasphemy, Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel were acquitted of all charges by the Lahore High Court after being in prison for almost eight years. A lawyer representing the couple said international pressure played a ‘vital role’ in their sentence being overturned.
Cuba: From pandemic to protests, the struggle for freedom
CSW mobilised urgent advocacy interventions to advocate on behalf of those targeted and detained in a crackdown on the 11 July protests in Cuba. Over 4,000 supporters campaigned tirelessly in 2021, demanding the release of Reverend Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, who was violently arrested in the protests.
Iran: Breakthrough with UN ruling over Pastor Nadarkhani
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is asking the Iranian Government for the urgent release of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhanithe pastor, who was sentenced to ten years in prison for ‘acting against national security’ by promoting Zionist Christianity, and who it describes as ‘a target of religious discrimination’.
Nigeria: Du Merci orphanages; campaigning against injustice
Our advocacy team has lobbied key policymakers and UN Special Procedures to take action for interventions on behalf of Professor Tarfa and the Du Merci children since the Professor was arrested on Christmas day 2019. More than 3,000 of you have campaigned and prayed for behalf of Professor Tarfa and his family.
At the United Nations: Calling the world to action
In 2021, in response to military coups and human rights crises, we conducted advocacy and delivered oral statements during three Special Sessions of the UNHRC (on Myanmar, Sudan and Ethiopia), as well as undertaking our strategic planned advocacy.
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