Spaces of Solidarity

From October 20-22, 2022, Maleshoane Mohanoe represented The Hub at Spaces of Solidarity (SoS) meeting in Johannesburg. An SoS Forum was founded by the 21 organisations that attended the meeting.

From this space, the organisations reaffirmed the commitment to the following:

  • freedom of expression
  • free access to information
  • free civic space
  • safety and security of journalists
  • safe and free exchange in the digital sphere in Southern Africa.

Such commitment is founded on regional and international instruments and standards and more specifically, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The SoS Forum seeks to promote co-ordination, collaboration and advocacy within the Southern African region aimed at addressing the following four thematic issues:

  • shrinking civic space
  • access to information
  • cyber security regulation
  • safety of journalists

The SoS Forum is committed to:

  1. Work together in solidarity to support, develop and strengthen resilient media systems in Southern Africa.
  2. Develop a new support mechanism for collaborative campaign work on the basis of the Spaces of Solidarity meeting to highlight attacks on free speech and media freedom, including using key anniversary dates like World Press Freedom Day (3 May).
  3. Take effective steps to analyse trends on media freedom in the region, identify emerging issues, build coalitions of campaigners around threats on media freedoms and campaigning to end these together.
  4. Provide a platform to advocate for improved safety of journalists, expansion of civil space and enhanced cyber security.
  5. Reaffirm the importance of access to information laws as enabling legislation from which other rights may be enjoyed.
  6. Support like-minded organisations in advocacy for access to information, safety of journalists, digital rights, and an improved civil society space.
  7. Undertake monitoring, advocacy, research, policy development, awareness raising, on access to information legislation, cybersecurity, digital rights and the safety of journalists.
  8. Reiterate our commitment to working together to ensure the effective realisation of the commitments outlined in these resolutions.

Many thanks to DW Akademie for inviting The Hub!