Having participated in World Social Forum events in previous years, Iraq-Kurdish activists launched the Kurdistan Social Forum in October 2016 as a means to promote social justice movements in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Currently housed by Peace and Freedom Organization, the Kurdistan Social Forum is an open space for movements, organizations and individuals who believe in global principles of social justice and human rights in order to bridge political, civil, social, economic and cultural divisions.
Kurdistan Social Forum activists seek to back civil movements in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq working towards political, economic and social reform. The organization of the first annual event of the Kurdistan Social Forum (KSF) forthcoming in December 2017 should be considered a milestone during which the KSF will publicly present its vision for a parliamentary and civil democracy. The KSF would like to create an open space for those who share their values in order to establish solid connections that can contribute to the development of an alternative future for the region.
The KSF aims to make use of the experience of the World Social Forum and its continuous struggle for human freedom and dignity. The Social Forum process offers a whole range of experiences and lessons available to the process in in the Kurdistan Region. The KSF as an opening meeting space draws its principles and ethics from the Charter of Principles of the World Social Forum organized in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Inspired by the experience of the World Social Forum the KSF would like to state the following:
- Participants in this forum believe that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is a federal parliamentarian civil democracy that should not discriminate on the basis of gender sex, color, religion, ethnicity, nationality. Instead it should guarantee diversity.
- The KSF believes in non-violence as the only option for reform.
- The KSF is committed to cooperation and rejects lavish spending of funds.
- Civil society is an essential partner and not a secondary one in building a federal, parliamentary, democratic secular Kurdistan far from dictatorship and authoritarianism. Activists and social movements have the right to demand non-violent means for reform and change.
- Civil society is represented by all individuals, institutions and organizations working with non-violent methods to aid people in need, fight against corruption while being immune to corruption, violence or sectarianism, in the framework of non-profit.
- Kurdish social movements are non-religious and stand against any discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or gender, and promote non-violent methods to demand reform and social justice.
- The KSF collaborates with the Iraqi Social Forum in the framework of non-violence. The two forums use their own mechanisms of coordination, with the option of joint actions.
- The KSF aims to coordinate with other social movements in Syria, Turkey and Iran.
- The forum aims to include social justice movements and activists, trade unions, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, human rights defenders, minority activists and organizations, feminist movements, youth movements.
Objectives of the Forum:
- To provide an open space to support the civic democratic parliamentary system project on the basis of respect for individual freedoms and promotion of social justice.
- To promote the development of political, economic and social justice.
- Foster the debate on the role of civil society and social movements in the Kurdistan region and ensure their role in society.
- Provide a platform for the international community to support social movements in the Kurdistan Region
Find here the basic principles and ethics of the Kurdistan Social Forum.
Pleas like their Facebook page here.
The first Kurdistan Social Forum annual event will take place in December 2017.
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