End of year message from our Executive Director Marlies Stappers 

Dear friends,

As we come close to the end of 2020, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your commitment to global human rights and social justice.

2020 has been an unusually challenging year for all of us whereby we had to face and adapt to the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shown us that such crises do not only affect everyone’s health and security, but also pose a direct risk of increased social injustice and inequality on a global scale; disproportionally subjecting vulnerable and marginalised groups to abuse. This crisis has thus reconfirmed the need to address the root causes thereof. Human Rights, the rule of law and social justice frameworks continue to provide central tools that can guide us in that endeavour and help us think constructively about how to move on after this crisis. There is no template to follow. However, we can learn much from the civil society experience; particularly by looking at the bottom-up and holistic responses to complex challenges. 

Amidst these circumstances, which will most likely accompany us for some time in 2021, we realise how important it is for us as civil society to continue to invest in real partnerships, trust and solidarity; not only amongst each other and with the groups we work with, but also with international policymakers and donors who are interested in exploring alternative ways of doing things to contribute to real change in our societies. As Impunity Watch, we promise to continue to strive for communities in which all voices – especially those of the marginalised – are valued and given space to contribute to the development of meaningful approaches to justice.

To all of you, we want to say that we are thankful for your contributions to making our community stronger and more connected. Alone we will have little ability to make change, but by being connected, we will have more leverage to achieve sustainable change - change that can benefit all and not just a handful.  With that goal in mind, we look forward to redoubling our efforts next year; together with you and as part of a joint community.  

Wishing you all happy holidays and may 2021 be another year of good health, solidarity and joint work!

Best Regards,
Marlies