Arseh Sevom (Third Sphere) is a non-governmental organization established in 2010 in Amsterdam, aiming to promote peace, democracy, and human rights. The organization’s objective is to help build the capacity of organizations and encourage the development of a vigorous third sphere of civil activities. Cooperation among civil society organizations is key to building a strong and coherent civil rights movement that can thrive and succeed. Arseh Sevom aims to become a hub for organizations and individuals working together towards the common goal of free, open, and peaceful Persian-speaking communities. Arseh Sevom seeks partnerships with existing organizations and also seeks to increase the vibrancy of civil society by encouraging its development.
Human and civil rights belong to all sectors of society and to all individuals. Arseh Sevom promotes the advancement of rights for people of all beliefs, genders, ethnicities, non-violent political affiliations, and more. A key aim for Arseh Sevom is to work with individuals and organizations to amplify their actions and efforts in the promotion of human and civil rights.
Human rights organizations and defenders in Iran have found themselves under attack, while abuses of basic human rights have continued. The unrest since the flawed 2009 presidential election has resulted in random and targeted arrests along with a shifting legal landscape that endangers academics and civil society activists in particular by outlawing their contact with international organizations and funding sources. Despite this, we are currently witnessing a transformation of civil society into a growing and creative civil rights movement.
To make the transition to a more open society, it is important to address the cultural and political roadblocks to the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Arseh Sevom aims to further the efforts of Iran’s civil rights movement by working with its leaders to build capacity and address future needs and developments. The group also plans to develop advocacy tools to address the attitude to human rights among intellectuals, activists, and the general public.
Arseh Sevom is funded in part by Hivos.
“A fair, free and sustainable world – that is what Hivos, the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, wants to contribute to. Together with local organisations in developing countries, Hivos strives for a world in which all citizens – both men and women – have equal access to resources and opportunities for development.”