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 a foreign based 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 rights enshrined in 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. The 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 and their colleagues 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 socio-political situation demands to, CARD will be focusing in promoting informed freedom of expression, civil and conflict sensitive conversation as well as combating disinformation, hate and dangerous speech and conflict mitigation among political actors before elections.
To see a democratic Ethiopia.
To echo principles of democracy to make democracy the rule of game in Ethiopia.
CARD, as legally registered for, is mandated to:
- Awareness creation to develop democratic culture in Ethiopia;
- Monitoring and evaluation of the state of human rights and democracy to hold state and non-state actors accountable;
- Doing researches, consultations and advocacy to influence necessary policy changes that help for democratisation;
- Making technical and professional support to democratic institutions;
- Monitoring and evaluating police detention centers, correction centers, and courts to have human and democratic rights respected;
- Doing elections’ observation as well as civic and voters’ education.
Additionally, CARD will give special attention to make human rights an agenda within the youth community at different educational levels.