Hivos International


Two of the most controversial issues in Latin America have resurfaced recently due to the decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) that recognises same-sex marriage and the right for Trans people to choose their gender identity as inherent rights.

Syrian Hivos partner executed three years after his detention

Last week, Bassel’s wife and closest family members announced his death was officially confirmed by the Assad regime. For me and his other friends this was extremely sad to hear, although after two years without any news about or from him, the chances he was still alive were minimal.

Over these last couple of months, Latin America has been vibrating and changing: we’ve gone from celebration to mourning, from anger to relief in a matter of days. Just one month ago, we awoke to the news of a murder attempt against our friend David Valle, LGBTI community leader in Honduras and member of Somos CDC, a partner organization of Hivos.

Last week, I spent time in spaces that I really liked. Mainly because we were discussing issues that are very dear to me but also getting to interact with some of the most inspiring people within the human rights movement globally.

For El Salvador it was not easy. In the process, five people were killed and one of them tortured. Community leaders lived under threat for years. However, a few weeks ago, our country became the first in Latin America to put a ban on metal mining in all its forms. For a nation as small and impoverished as ours, to make this sovereign decision against the interests of a powerful transnational company is an unprecedented event that we consider a triumph of community work.

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet in a way that will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

I was part of an inspiring half-day session named 100 Days of Learning, organised by the Age of Wonderland program on Valentine’s Day. An initiative to foster social innovation by facilitating co-creation between creatives in Africa, Latin America and Asia and the Netherlands.

Hivos Southern Africa has urged civil society organizations (CSOs) to integrate social media into their communications matrix as this provides a valuable opportunity for them to reach their communications goals and new audiences more efficiently.

Co-authored with Ferdinand Francken, LEAD programme Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As Hivos, we fully believe that freedom of expression and the media is a basic requirement for citizens to stay informed, express an opinion and become civically involved in society. Across the globe, the internet has been growing as a medium of communication, facilitating freedom of expression and economic development. In countries where the internet is free, enterprising people have come up with innovations that have and continue to produce great economic returns, providing not only jobs but new ways of conducting human affairs.

Key Focal Areas

  • At Hivos, we aim to innovate for social change by implementing smart projects in the right places.

  • Coworking for Sustainable Employment (CSE), previously known as Mideast Creatives, is all about developing the full potential of young people and specifically young women in the Arab world.

  • In late 2012, Hivos started implementing the Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) - supported under the Freedom Online Coalition - to provide an answer to a range of emerging threats to internet fre