NGOs and translation

Wine Tesseur
Table of contents

The term non-governmental organisations (NGOs) tends to bring to mind images of charities helping those living in poverty, or of citizens who unite in environmental and human rights campaigns. Yet defining NGOs is notoriously difficult. In fact, they are often defined by what they are not rather than by what they are: non-profit organisations that operate independently from the government. As an umbrella term, NGO refers to a wide variety of organisations. These include the type of charities already mentioned, who provide assistance in humanitarian and development contexts, as well as advocacy NGOs that focus on human rights, animal rights or environmental issues. What is perhaps lesser known is that there are organisations working in other sectors too that are defined as NGOs. For example, some NGOs work in science (e.g., the International Council for Science), sports (e.g., International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities, IAKS), or even the business sector (e.g., International Chamber of Commerce; Davies 2014).

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