Human Rights Accomplishments, Along with Strategies Discussed in Annual NGO Report
London, United Kingdom – Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) has launched its 2022 annual report, with its major achievements in research and advocacy over the past year, along with its goals for 2023. The London-based NGO is known for promoting human rights and pro-democracy policies in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as well as advocating for the rights of stateless individuals in the Kingdom of Kuwait. In the report, SALAM DHR highlights its work on the Universal Periodic Review for the UNCHR, where it identified major gaps in Bahraini government’s human rights reforms over the past four years and presented its findings to the UN in Geneva this past July. Jawad Fairooz, Chairman of SALAM DHR, along with staff and interns, highlighted the Bahraini government’s failures to allow freedom of speech, expression, and press in the country, release hundreds of prisoners of conscience, or allow transparency regarding accusations of ill-treatment in Bahraini prisons, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SALAM DHR also showcased its 44-page report, “’Nothing but a Pen and a Word’: Voices from the Stateless Bidoon Community in Kuwait During the Pandemic” on the socio-economic conditions stateless Kuwaitis – also known as Bidoon – have faced over the past three years. Working with activists on the ground, international NGOs, and academic experts on Kuwait and the Bidoon, the report documented the extreme toll the pandemic took on the health of the community, drawing causal links between the extreme economic insecurity and legal discrimination the Bidoon face and how it has caused significant harm to their health, both physically and psychologically, as communities without the legal right to work lost access to their limited incomes during lockdowns and also had limited means to seek medical treatment and vaccination against COVID-19.
Headquartered in London, it has offices in Paris, Geneva, and Beirut in 2022 alone, it recruited and trained twenty interns from the three continents and composed six major reports. This expansion has changed to SALAM DHR’s mode of operation, running a hybridized model of human rights, along with think tank pieces in publications such as the Institute of International Affairs. “We’re filling a unique role in international advocacy for Bahrain and Kuwait”, explained Andrew McIntosh, SALAM DHR’s Director of Research and Studies. “We are an NGO that promotes human rights in the Middle East and Europe, but we’re also taking steps to ensure that our literature is of the highest quality possible, and that we’re working with the experts on these topics to explore human rights new ways that raise critical, previously under-explored issues.”
SALAM DHR is currently training future human rights researchers and advocates, giving seminars on what is required to become future NGO employees, providing them a chance to engage directly with MPs and MEPs, and enabling them to compose high quality human rights reports that are published in their name. Anthony Tazbaz, who interned with SALAM DHR in 2022 commented “Interning at SALAM DHR allowed me to enhance my research and writing skills while also giving me a fantastic opportunity to develop my soft skills and become a better professional”. SALAM DHR is to continuing advocacy, research and recruitment in 2023, with plans for new international partnerships and dynamic new approaches to human rights reforms in the MENA and Europe.
Contact: Andrew McIntosh