A press conference was held in Cairo by the International Federation for Human Rights to discuss the latest findings of its annual reports on the status of human rights. The organization singled out restricting laws as one of the most impending obstacles facing Civil society organizations and human rights defenders from carrying out their work.
Restrictions which are orchestrated by governments against human rights advocacy groups and organizations include hindering access to funding. This problem as pointed out in the report is not particular to one region around the world but a tactic used by authoritative governments worldwide.
In Egypt the issue is pretty obvious, after putting to trial 43 human rights workers last year on charges of receiving foreign funds, the current upper house of parliament is working on a new NGO law which workers in the field describe as more restrictive than that of the days of Mubarak.
The law which was put together by the Freedom and Justice party will entail security permissions to operate in Egypt rather than simply working with the ministry of Social solidarity as in the past.
Provided this new law is passed, it might take NGO's up to 3 years to get the necessary permits to start operating. Activists and workers in the field on human rights and civil society are asking that their opinions be taken into consideration with the drafting of the law but all indications show that is not very likely to happen.
Many believed that the era following the revolution will be one where the role of civil society will be highlighted, but what is obvious, is that there are many obstacles in Egypt for NGO's to fully play out their role in the society.