Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

WHO WE ARE

Our mission is to promote human rights and international democratic solidarity.

CADAL (Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina) is a private, non-profit and non-partisan foundation, established on February 26, 2003, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

The members of CADAL come from different fields, such as academia, journalism, consulting, and human rights activism. CADAL is a plural space in which its members share the unrestricted defense of democratic institutions and the universal nature of human rights.

Our mission is to promote human rights and international democratic solidarity, particularly in failed democracies and autocracies with weakened institutions in which freedom of association, expression, assembly, and the right to political participation for citizens are repressed and inhibited.

As part of its task of promoting human rights, CADAL is a part of a series of coalitions, forums, and organizations that share the same values: the World Movement for Democracy (WMfD), the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), the International Tibet Network, the Coalition for Freedom of Association, the Network of Think Tanks KAS in Latin America, is a member of TrustLaw (the global pro bono program of the Thomson Reuters Foundation) and is registered as an Organization of Civil Society before the Organization of American States (OAS).

History 

CADAL's mission is inspired by the Memory of solidarity received by human rights activists, politically persecuted, relatives of detainees and disappeared, and independent journalists during the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983).

The shared experience of human rights activists in the military dictatorships of the Southern Cone -Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay-, of South Africa and of the communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe recognizes the democratic solidarity received from abroad as a fundamental factor of political and moral support in those periods of repression and political persecution.

Currently, almost a third of the countries that are part of the UN repress the freedom of association, expression, assembly, demonstration, and the right to political participation of their citizens. According to CADAL's vision, those who lived under a dictatorship and then received signs of international democratic solidarity have the moral obligation to be the voice of those who currently live in authoritarian contexts.

At CADAL we defend the universal nature of democracy and human rights

According to what is established in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration on Democracy: “As an ideal, democracy fundamentally seeks to maintain and promote the dignity and fundamental rights of the individual, guarantee social justice, facilitate the economic and social development of the community, strengthen the cohesion of society, promote national tranquility and create a climate conducive to international peace. As a form of government, democracy is the best way to achieve these goals; it is also the only political system capable of correcting itself.”

In turn, Article 12 of the aforementioned Declaration establishes that “the key element in the exercise of democracy is the holding at regular intervals of free and fair elections, which allow the expression of the popular will. These elections must be held on the basis of universal, equal, and secret suffrage so that all voters can choose their representatives in conditions of equality, openness, and transparency, which stimulate political competition. Therefore, civil and political rights are paramount, and in particular among them, the rights to vote and be elected, the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, access to information and the right to organize political parties and carry out political activities”.

For its part, article 27 of the Universal Declaration on Democracy establishes its international dimension: "A democracy must defend democratic principles in international relations. In this sense, democracies must refrain from all non-democratic conduct, express their solidarity with democratic governments and non-state actors, such as non-governmental organizations working for democracy and human rights, and extend their solidarity to all victims of human rights violations in non-democratic regimes".