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Update on legal reforms impacting civic space in Sudan

Following a series of roundtables convened on Institutional Legal reforms and one-on-one advocacy meetings held with government and other stakeholders, the government (Ministry of Labor and Social Development) formed a committee to develop a road map for the HAC and Law reform process and oversee its implementation .

The committee organized a consultation workshop in Khartoum (under the sponsorship of the MoL&SD) in March to discuss the reforms needed. A report from the consultation workshop with recommendations for the way forward was produced by the Ministry and circulated. These recommendations broadly fell in several areas but most important of which were - (i) revision and adoption of a set of new regulations which will improve the operational environment for CSOs; (ii) developing a roadmap for replacement of the 2006 Act inclusive of timelines, milestones, key actors and their roles and implementing the roadmap for replacement of 2006 Act.

The committee has since revised and drafted new regulations regarding 4 key areas impacting civic space, these were –

  • Regulations for the Registration of National Organizations, 2020
  • Regulations for the recruitment of foreign employees, 2020
  • Regulations for attracting and receiving funds and grants for the year 2020
  • Regulations for the Registration of Networks of Voluntary Organizations, 2020

These new regulations have been discussed and were expected to be introduced in July 2020.

The committee has also developed an initial roadmap with key milestones, however dates for their completion have not been put in place. The roadmap/milestones are -

  1. Expanding the existing committee to include additional persons with legal expertise
  2. Drafting a new law
  3. Developing and endorsing a consultation process for a new law
  4. Carrying out the consultation process
  5. Incorporating input/feedback from the consultation process into the first draft of the new law
  6. Carrying out a second, smaller consultation process with key stakeholders
  7. Incorporating any input into the 2nd draft and producing a final draft of the new law
  8. Submitting the law to the Cabinet of Ministers
  9. Cabinet of Ministers + Sovereign council endorse the new law.

The Committee also commissioned an independent review of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). The independent review with recommendations for both the short and long term has since been completed and submitted to the MoL&SD.