Center for the Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD) is a board-led, for not-profit organization registered in Ethiopia under the revised Civil Societies Law 1113/2019 with registry number 4307. CARD envisions to see a democratic Ethiopia and has a mission of echoing principles of democracy to make it the rule of game in the country.
CARD is a reimagined and expansive version of a previous organization known as the Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) which was registered in South Africa and United States as an offshore Human Rights Organizations. EHRP was founded by a few members of multiple-awards winning Zone 9 Blogging and Activism Collective, which is known for running series of campaigns for the respect of Ethiopian constitution by state actors. In 2014, when most of the Zone 9 members were jailed and the rest fled the country escaping prosecution after their blogging and campaigning activities, EHRP was launched to watch their trials and evolved as a platform for advocacy of human rights of prisoners of conscience as well as improvement of detention situations in Ethiopia. EHRP told the stories of more than 50 political prisoners (prisoners of conscience) and the situation they were detained, advocated for speedy and fair trial by monitoring the trials of human rights defenders and journalists. It has also researched and documented human rights abuses in Ethiopia in both Amharic and English languages. Few Zone 9 members, who were released free after 18 months of detention, have also joined EHRP’s team and resumed to uncover the stories of human rights abuse from within Ethiopia.
In April 2018, Ethiopia has introduced new political and legal reforms following three years of wave of protests in its most populous regions. These reforms have encouraged the founders of EHRP to reorganize themselves and get registered as CARD with broader mandate and organizational capacity, having a board-led structure for more accountability. Accordingly, CARD is an organization that follows rights-centered approach to help democratization process in Ethiopia. As in the current sociopolitical situation demands to, CARD will be focusing in promoting freedom of expression, civil conversation as well as combatting hate and dangerous speech and conflict.
CARD, as legally registered for, will be working on wide range of activities from awareness creation on democratic principles to monitoring and evaluation of state- and non-state actors’ accountability; from research, consultancy and advocacy to providing technical and professional support to democratic institutions, as well as from monitoring detention and correction centers to observation of elections and voters’ education. Additionally, CARD will give special attention to make human rights an agenda with in the youth community at different educational level.
Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy, CARD envisions to see a democratic Ethiopia and has a mission of echoing principles of democracy to make it the rule of game in the country.
We commit to stand in solidarity with the millions of Ethiopians who aspire to bring about a truly democratic political system, where human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected.
We seek to bolster the advocacy work done by domestic and international actors to advance human rights in Ethiopia. Our advocacy efforts focus on exchange of probative research and critical information with an ultimate goal of heightening awareness of human rights condition in Ethiopia.