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Newest Debate: Closing space for civil society?

Civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide are under significant pressure as restrictions on foreign funding, barriers to registration, intervention in CSOs’ internal affairs, and other forms of harassment have proliferated. The debate will examine the evidence and experience of closing space in different contexts and sectors and identify the innovative responses. Read on...


Our latest:

Decolonization—not western liberals—established human rights on the global agenda

Human rights scholarship and advocacy claim to be grounded in universality, yet both are anything but in their privileging the Western role in building an international human rights system. Español

Blame South Sudanese leadership, not George Clooney

The crisis in South Sudan is a result of its current leadership – the country wasn’t doomed to fail – and its people welcome celebrities like George Clooney who point this out.

Letter to George Clooney

Celebrity activism risks reducing complex political issues to simple morality tales, leading to emotional politics and irresponsible interventions.

Dogs, pigs, and human rights: South Korea’s uproar

A recent political uproar in South Korea has exacerbated the public’s diminishing trust in government officials. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights.

Collaborating with scientists for climate justice

The impacts of climate change intensify existing social inequities by placing disproportionate burdens on vulnerable populations. Collaborations with scientists and community partners could lead to rights-based solutions.

The right place for the Left: the World Social Forum in Montreal

In August 2016, the World Social Forum brought global justice activists to Montreal, the first time it was ever held in the global North. But this reorientation of the movement fell far short of its goals

Rethinking what ICC success means at the Bemba Trial

When measuring ICC success, we need to examine the local impact and not just the international effects. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the International Criminal Court. Français

Two forums, two approaches to advancing the SDGs and human rights

Recent global assemblies make it clear—to achieve the SDGs we need to find ways to hold governments, UN agencies and the private sector accountable for the pledges they made.

Making economic rights “real” with stakeholder dialogues

When businesses go into a poor community, how can those most affected have more influence over the agenda?

 

Demagogues and populists must be challenged – UN High Commissioner speaks out

A cross border bonding of demagogues and populists poses a grave risk to human rights, and we are doing too little to challenge their lies and half-truths.

Earning the trust of human rights supporters

Human rights groups have lost—or never gained—the trust of roughly half their (potentially) strongest supporters. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights, and evaluation and human rightsEspañol

Development banks and the silencing of dissent

By ignoring community concerns around development projects, multilateral institutions can become complicit in human rights violations and closing space. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.  EspañolFrançais

Human rights data used the wrong way can be misleading

While data is important for human rights advocacy, the risks of misleading people are also very real and advocates must insist on rigor.

 

Fighting misconceptions and logistics to raise funds in Brazil

Logistical issues and lack of awareness among Brazilians have created significant—but not insurmountable—obstacles to fundraising for human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on funding and human rightsEspañolPortuguês

Opening up civic space requires creativity and careful navigation

Even where civil society space is constrained, local organisations can create positive relationships with state and external actors. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil societyРу́сскийالعربية

The UN undermined both public health and human rights in Haiti

Failing to acknowledge its involvement in the 2010 Cholera outbreak in Haiti, the UN undermined public health norms and violated the human rights standards that it asks countries to uphold. Español

The end of the grant era

Asking donors for money and then implementing programs is an old model from which civil society must break free. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on funding and human rights.  Español

Will tougher sentences prevent female genital mutilation in Egypt?

Egypt is considering tougher sentences and stiffer fines for doctors and parents who perform female genital mutilation on their daughters. But will that change anything? العربية

It’s time for development banks to start listening

The aid community often ignores the wishes of the very people it’s supposed to be helping. The world needs a more bottom-up approach to development. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ closing space for civil society debate. Español

New Katanga trial shows DRC’s potential to try complex international crimes

A DRC warlord convicted by the ICC will now also face prosecution by national courts in the DRC—an enormously welcome step.

New approach to refugee protection must prioritize self-sufficiency

A new approach to refugee protection needs to draw on the principles of self-sufficiency to prevent aid dependency and let refugees work so that they contribute to host communities.

Human rights and the failed coup in Turkey

There are risks for human rights in the post-coup purges in Turkey. But we must applaud more loudly the coup’s failure as a victory for human rights and democracy. Türkçe