Democratic principles and participatory debate lead to social justice and prevent extreme inequalities from arising. Yet democratic debate has many enemies and it is necessary to fight to defend it, time and again. Solidar Suisse ensures that disadvantaged people know their rights and are able to participate in political processes.
No social justice without democracy
Our experience shows that without participation and democratic principles there is little prospect of social justice and none of sustainable development. There is also no prospect of democracy without fundamental human rights like freedom of opinion, association and speech.
In many countries, these rights are not guaranteed or only partly enforced. This results in police violence, limited controls over public money and an erosion of public service and the rule of law. In particular poor people, women and people of colour suffer discrimination and various forms of violence and often they have no possibility of exercising their rights.
“Public funds are only used where they are really useful when we clearly communicate what we want.”
Also the number of countries that restrict the registration of trade unions has risen. The right to strike was violated in 85% of countries and workers were subjected to violence in 52% of countries. This concerning trend has been exacerbated by moves by governments to use measures associated with Covid-19 to further curtail workers’ rights.
Solidar Suisse advocates for disadvantaged people to be provided with access to services and resources. We strengthen the efforts of grassroots groups to develop efficient and democratic structures. In doing so, we primarily invest in training for women and young people to enable them to participate in political processes on an equal footing.
This provides the population with more control over the use of public funds, which leads to sustainable public investments and improvements to the rule of law. Through our projects, we ensure that fountains, schools and healthcare centres are set up in the places where they are most urgently needed.
Democratic principles and participatory debate lead to social justice. Solidar Suisse fights for people to know and be able to demand their rights.