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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. It will also identify the innovative responses that have allowed CSOs to continue their crucial work and thrive in many countries, despite growing pressures.
Introducing openGlobalRights’ newest debate: ‘closing space for civil society’ – analyzing the drivers and responses
Civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide are under significant pressure. Questions abound about whether current trends indicate a permanent setback for civil society, or rather are indicative of shifts in the way that civil society operates. openGlobalRights launches a new, multilingual debate on 'closing space for civil society'.
Restricted freedoms and intensifying governmental control raise the risk for social and geopolitical conflict.
Hungary is using Russia’s playbook to close down civil society space, and many Western allies are hardly even noticing.
Venezuela’s lack of reliable data on socio-economic metrics poses both challenges and opportunities for human rights advocates. Español
Increasing threats to citizens’ freedoms will derail the sustainable development goals.
Closing space for African sexual and gender minority groups is about far more than advocacy—it is about accessing critical services that no one else provides. Français
Protecting freedom of speech, assembly and association in Asia is the lynchpin to protecting all human rights.
Civil society could have played a key role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership—why were they left out? Español
Volunteers in India are banding together to form a network that protects human rights defenders.
A key concern for many Argentinians, among the numerous changes Mauricio Macri’s government has implemented, is the dismantling of hard-won human rights gains. Español
As local rights groups seek alternative funding sources, the closing space for civil society makes this even more imperative.
In this climate of closing space, we have an imperative to rethink the business models for protecting human rights.
Armed non-state actors, criminal elements and violent extremists—not just governments—are responsible for the increasing crackdown on civil society. Français
Foreign aid is always political, and elevates the risk of a government crackdown on NGOs. Español
What started as a “one time” reform exercise has turned into a long-term battle for Kenyan civil society. Français
Silencing activists in the name of security can stifle actors most likely to challenge extremist ideologies, making insecurity worse. Español
“Partly free” countries in the post-Soviet space must fight even harder now to protect growing civil societies. Ру́сский
Working together, the UN and civil society are using innovative legal action to protect fundamental human rights and re-open lost civic spaces. Español
Taking lessons from history’s best dissenters, civil society is finding new ways to make cracks in shrinking spaces. Español
Civil society organisations are targeted because political elites know they have power. But where is the international backup? Español
As space for civil society closes, donors and civil society leaders are realizing they cannot take public support for granted. Español
Marked as traitors by the dominant Right for relying on foreign aid, Israeli liberal NGOs need a wider base of local donors. Español
Can NGOs and India’s political opposition stop Modi’s civil society clampdown?
Amidst tighter donor budgets for human rights, NGOs in Bangladesh are also grappling with increasingly intrusive governments. বাংলা (Bengali)
If Israeli human rights groups are labeled fronts for foreign interests due to their funding, what does that make Israel itself? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Funding for Human Rights. العربية עברית
The Indian state aggressively promotes foreign investment in all sectors but civil society.
In the constantly shrinking space for civil society around the world, Ethiopia faces some enormous challenges in generating local support. Largely due to the country’s new CSO Proclamation, which severely restricts foreign funding of rights groups, human rights work in the country has nearly shut down. But can local donors pick up the slack?
Ultra-nationalist political parties are yet again trying to crack down on dissenting Israeli NGOs. This is the latest in a longer series of efforts to fundamentally re-define Israel as the “state of the Jews,” rather than a state of all its citizens.
In October Kenya introduced legislation capping foreign funding to NGOs and requiring that money be channeled through a government body. Though narrowly defeated, the law looked to be a death-knell for a vibrant civil society sector. But Kenya – and the region – is not out of the woods yet. Français
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