CIVICUS LENS: PERSPECTIVES FOR A CHANGING WORLD


 
Building on 10 years of State of Civil Society Reports, CIVICUS Lens offers timely analysis of the major events of the day from a civil society perspective. Complementing their ongoing tracking of civic space on the CIVICUS Monitor, CIVICUS Lens highlights stories of civic action and civil society breakthroughs; they explore contemporary political, economic and social trends and their impact on civil society, and also and most importantly, the ways in which people’s movements are responding, innovating and scoring victories.

Deeply rooted in the global south, CIVICUS Lens stand firmly for social justice and on the side of those who defend human rights, call the powerful to account, demand democratic freedoms and fight for progress on the great issues of today: problems like the climate crisis, systemic racism, widening inequalities and democratic regression.

 

CIVICUS Lens intends to demystify complex issues, encourage reflection and promote solidarity, allyship and progressive action, showcasing a plurality and diversity of experiences and voices, including through interviews and consultations. IPS Inter Press Service North America and its UN Bureau are partnering with CIVICUS Lens to raise questions about some of the predominant biases in how the world is understood and how current events are analysed.

CONTACT: research@civicus.org



Mexico: last state joins the rainbow wave


Same-sex marriage legal throughout Mexico following decision by Tamaulipas state legislature …

MORE >>


Malaysia: will new government bring real change?


Challenger promising to improve civic space comes to power – but political volatility is likely to continue …

MORE >>


COP27: too little, too late


Summit takes first step to make rich states pay for climate harm – but does little to stop them causing further damage …

MORE >>


The Energy Charter Treaty: a barrier to climate action


European states must withdraw from rather than revise treaty that protects fossil fuel companies from environmental policy …

MORE >>


Ethiopia: will the ceasefire be followed by peace?


After two-year conflict, humanitarian aid is vital – and so is accountability for human rights violations …

MORE >>


Qatar 2022: glory at what price?


World Cup tainted by migrant workers’ deaths and numerous other human rights abuses …

MORE >>


Bahrain: election without freedoms falls far short of democracy


Empty election ritual held in the absence of opposition leaves ruling power untroubled …

MORE >>


Taiwan in the firing line


China talks tough – but Taiwan’s people want to choose their own path …

MORE >>


Spain: a victory in the struggle against sexual violence


The country’s first law on sexual consent comes after years of feminist demands for a new approach to gender-based violence …

MORE >>


Israel: most extreme government ever on the cards


Netanyahu is back, set to lead a government with far-right racist elements …

MORE >>


Brazil: danger averted


Transition process underway following narrow defeat of far-right incumbent by broad coalition under leftist leadership …

MORE >>


The COP27 challenge: demanding climate action in a repressive state


Egypt’s hosting of summit will subdue civil society voices just when they are most needed …

MORE >>


Lebanon: people take on the banks


Driven to desperation by government failure, depositors resort to extreme measures to recover their money …

MORE >>


Haiti: will another international intervention help?


Haitian civil society’s voices must be heard in any strategy to address the chaos …

MORE >>


China’s Xi Jinping at the pinnacle of power


Re-elected party chairman set to become China’s longest-ruling strongman since Mao …

MORE >>


Transnational justice: impunity under challenge


International trials offer hope to victims and survivors of atrocities in Liberia and the Central African Republic …

MORE >>


Zimbabwe: rights under further attack ahead of 2023 elections


President Mnangagwa seeking to prolong his stay in power by cracking down on dissent …

MORE >>


Bulgaria: stuck in a loop?


Fourth election in 18 months produces yet more deadlock with parties divided on Russia and corruption …

MORE >>


NATO’s growing pains


Russian invasion of Ukraine pushes some states into NATO’s arms – but makes NATO membership a contentious issue in others …

MORE >>


Serbia: LGBTQI+ people the latest target of repression


Anti-rights groups find dual inspiration in US conservative Christians and Russian nationalists …

MORE >>


Tunisia: a rare moment of LGBTQI+ visibility


Post-pandemic comeback of LGBTQI+ film festival offers hope in restrictive environment …

MORE >>


Change in Lesotho: how much, and who for?


Newly founded party wins election and enters government – but will it deliver real change? …

MORE >>


UN Human Rights Council takes action on Russia


Unprecedented move followed by rights-abusing states winning Council seats through non-competitive elections …

MORE >>


Afghanistan’s frozen assets and a looming winter crisis


Civil society campaigns for urgent action to avert humanitarian disaster …

MORE >>


Brazil: world awaits pivotal presidential runoff vote


Close result expected after polarising campaign …

MORE >>


Burkina Faso: second coup further dents hope of democracy


New junta seems set to follow Mali’s path by inviting Russian forces in …

MORE >>


China: UN Human Rights Council fails crucial test


Vote against holding debate on China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang a major letdown …

MORE >>


Latvia: decisive election gains for pro-western parties


Government will keep standing up to Russia – but must respect rights of Latvia’s ethnic Russian population …

MORE >>


Court action for climate justice: a growing movement


Climate activists score breakthrough victories in holding states and companies to account …

MORE >>


UN General Assembly: no room for civil society?


Denial of access leaves out crucial partner for achieving UN objectives …

MORE >>


Iran: could women protesters bring down the theocracy?


Death of woman detained for ‘improper hijab’ triggers widespread protests against patriarchal regime …

MORE >>


Solomon Islands: democracy on hold


Government postpones election amid sensitivity over links with China …

MORE >>


Italy: triumph of the far right


Ascent to power of party with neofascist origins spells trouble for excluded groups …

MORE >>


Iraq: endless political crisis benefits no one but elites


It’s time to listen to the demands of the young protesters calling for radical change …

MORE >>


Another breakthrough for LGBTQI+ rights in the Caribbean


Saint Kitts and Nevis latest country to decriminalise same-sex relations …

MORE >>


Indonesia: fuel price protests at high-handed government


Country the latest in global wave of economic protests …

MORE >>


Sudan: women’s rights in the military’s firing line


Junta seeking to reverse progress made following 2019 revolution …

MORE >>


UN: right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment recognised


Landmark resolution must now be followed by action …

MORE >>


Big challenges ahead for new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Volker Türk, a UN insider, takes office after opaque selection process …

MORE >>


Sweden’s far right rises


Party with neo-Nazi origins holds the balance of power following immigration-dominated election …

MORE >>


Ocean Treaty: unfinished business


States need to get back to the negotiating table and commit to protect the world’s oceans …

MORE >>


Angola: the democratic transition that never was


Most competitive election in country’s history skewed by ruling party’s dominance …

MORE >>


China: UN report leaves no room to hide


New Human Rights Commissioner faces early test of holding China to account …

MORE >>


Iran’s women the renewed targets of theocratic repression


Government responds to growing social unrest by crushing dissent and diverting attention …

MORE >>


Pakistan: the lethal impacts of climate change


Response to catastrophic floods hindered by political short-sightedness, state ineffectiveness and insufficient global funding …

MORE >>


India: outrage as gang rapists walk free


Case exemplifies systematic denial of Indian women’s rights and multiple layers of exclusion faced by Muslim women …

MORE >>


Chile’s constitutional process: back to square one?


An urgent need to rethink the way forward as keeping the old authoritarian constitution can’t be an option …

MORE >>


UK: new prime minister, same old problems?


Liz Truss takes over facing huge economic challenges …

MORE >>


Panama: after protests, will the government keep its promises?


Soaring costs have further fuelled anger at corruption and poor public services …

MORE >>


Nicaragua’s crackdown: a beleaguered regime clutching at straws?


The government’s desperate attempt to eliminate all dissent reveals a weakness that democratic allies should exploit …

MORE >>


Mexico: one step closer to justice for the missing 43?


Families of disappeared students make fresh demand for accountability as former attorney general is arrested …

MORE >>


Sierra Leone: will the lessons be learned from protest violence?


Government’s repression and vilification of protests a troubling sign ahead of elections …

MORE >>


Singapore: belated recognition of LGBTQI+ rights


Sex between men decriminalised – but state moves to block progress on equal marriage …

MORE >>


Malawi: protests against selective justice reveal deeper democratic deficits


Protesters seeking accountability find repression instead …

MORE >>


DRC: anti-UN protests decry worsening insecurity


Protests and violence need long-term solutions …

MORE >>


Vanuatu’s climate plan shows way forward


Donors must prove they’re serious by helping Pacific Island country adapt to climate change …

MORE >>


Kenya: a president elected – or perhaps not?


Tight result in election many stayed away from means continuing uncertainty …

MORE >>


Guinea’s military in no hurry to return to the barracks


Junta bans protests following announcement of long transition period …

MORE >>


Anglican church passes the buck on LGBTQI+ rights


A bishops’ conference in the UK could have lasting consequences for LGBTQI+ people in Ghana and Uganda …

MORE >>


Japan: still an outlier on marriage equality


A blow for LGBTQI+ rights as court rules same-sex marriage ban constitutional …

MORE >>


Papua New Guinea: election chaos poses integrity questions


Rebuilding trust in the electoral process yet another challenge for the new government…

MORE >>


Victory against anti-rights backlash at the UN


Civil society advocacy rewarded with renewal of mandate to protect LGBTQI+ people…

MORE >>


Antigua and Barbuda: a step forward for LGBTQI+ rights


Court rules government’s ban on same-sex acts is unconstitutional…

MORE >>


Saudi Arabia: clean as new


Oil diplomacy turns a blind eye to the regime’s human rights violations…

MORE >>


Sri Lanka: change falls short of protest demands


New president extends state of emergency and amps up protest repression…

MORE >>


Chad: democracy still on hold


With France’s backing, military leaders keep repressing demands for democracy…

MORE >>


Democracy cancelled: Tunisia’s new constitution


Low-turnout referendum confirms president’s absolute power…

MORE >>


Changing times in Oceania?


China’s pursuit of a pan-Pacific deal has raised the stakes in an overlooked region…

MORE >>


Ethiopia: peace desperately needed


Recent wave of violence in Oromia region adds to grim litany of rights violations…

MORE >>


Gabon and Togo offer renewed test of Commonwealth values


Two new members join the Commonwealth – despite repressing democracy and human rights…

MORE >>


Uzbekistan: protests further show need for democracy


State’s failure to spot the warning signs of anger leads to rare protests and avoidable violence…

MORE >>


Migrants pay the deadly cost of Spain’s harsh approach


Full investigation needed into multiple deaths at attempted crossing of Morocco-Spanish border…

MORE >>


Republicanism on the rise in the Caribbean


Commonwealth Caribbean coming to terms with history to forge its own path forward…

MORE >>


Pride and politics: a renewed urgency to demands for LGBTQI+ rights


2022 Pride events defy anti-rights backlash and democratic regression…

MORE >>


Cuba: a year on from historic pro-democracy protests


Repression and criminalisation prevent anniversary protest – but deep discontent is guaranteed to resurface…

MORE >>


Tanzania: Maasai people resist forced evictions


Indigenous people face government plan to forcibly remove them for tourism development…

MORE >>


Abortion rights in the USA: regression against the tide


Against global trend, US Supreme Court ruling eliminates federal protection of abortion rights…

MORE >>


20 years of the International Criminal Court


Two decades on, the ICC has proved its value although challenges remain…

MORE >>


Rohingya refugees: still far from home


Struggle of the Rohingya people continues six years on from campaign of violence that made them refugees…

MORE >>


The four-day workweek: the future of work?


Thousands of UK workers join a six-month trial to test the viability of the four-day workweek…

MORE >>


Colombia’s historic left turn


Gustavo Petro becomes country’s first leftist president, and Francia Márquez its first female and Afro-Colombian vice-president…

MORE >>


Ecuador: protests over or only on hold?


Negotiations bring uneasy truce after more than two weeks of protests but divisions remain…

MORE >>


Wanted: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


The next High Commissioner must be a global rights champion who stands up to authoritarian states…

MORE >>


Sudan: military needs to make way for democracy


Small recent concessions granted by military government shouldn’t appease international community…

MORE >>


Five Takeaways from the 2022 State of Civil Society Report


2022 is halfway through. It’s clear this is a year of immense disruption, mayhem and contestation….

MORE >>


Civil Society Holding the Line in Contested Times: 2022 CIVICUS State of Civil Society Report


Published at the halfway point of 2022, the State of Civil Society Report shines a light on a time of immense upheaval and contestation…

MORE >>


Somalia: drought and conflict a dual threat


Millions on the brink of starvation as Somalia experiences its worst drought in decades…

MORE >>


LGBTQI+ rights in the Commonwealth: time for change


Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting an opportunity to address colonial legacy of discrimination…

MORE >>


Palestine: activism gone digital


Technology is playing a key role in human rights work – and bringing backlash…

MORE >>


Iran: food price rises fuel renewed protests


Government responds by vilifying protesters and unleashing yet more violence…

MORE >>


El Salvador: ‘war on gangs’ accelerates slide into authoritarianism


Fundamental rights under attack, with 38,000 arrests so far…

MORE >>


Thailand: king’s critics criminalised


Thailand’s democracy activists are being criminalised for questioning royal power…

MORE >>


Starbucks workers: partners in shared success?


Recent unionisation victories are breathing fresh life into the US labour movement…

MORE >>


Philippines: democracy in mourning


Alliance of two autocratic dynasties takes power after glorifying repressive past…

MORE >>


Elections bring a breath of fresh air to Lebanese politics


Voices of protest now have the chance to make themselves heard in parliament…

MORE >>


Escazú Agreement: promising beginnings


Civil society plays its part in first summit and pushes for more ratifications…

MORE >>


Change on the cards in Australia


New government must act on the upsurge of voter concern about climate change…

MORE >>


South Africa: the deadly impacts of climate change


Civil society responds to huge floods that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless…

MORE >>


Pandemic treaty: will the world be ready for the next crisis?


Civil society perspectives needed to shape treaty to improve pandemic performance…

MORE >>


Nigeria: students hope to go back to school


University students demand government reaches an agreement with striking teachers so classes can resume…

MORE >>


Indonesia: breakthrough on gender-based violence


Long-term civil society advocacy pays off with passing of law against forced marriage and sexual abuse…

MORE >>


Twitter: takeover talk sparks hate speech fears


Elon Musk’s potential purchase of Twitter shows the need for greater regulation of social media companies…

MORE >>


India: horror heatwaves bring civil society response


Civil society is helping people cope – but also calling for climate action…

MORE >>


Hong Kong: another step closer to China


Hard-line pro-Beijing security chief takes power in a walkover election…

MORE >>


India: hijab row the latest show of Hindu nationalism


Right-wing populist politicians target Muslim women to inflame divisions and win elections…

MORE >>



Civil society campaigning achieves forced labour victory in Uzbekistan


Seventeen years of advocacy and activism leads to the end of state-imposed forced and child labour in country’s cotton industry…

MORE >>


Fresh hope for civil society: right-wing populist defeated in Slovenia


Victory of new party raises hope that civic freedoms will be respected…

MORE >>


Game not over: resistance against East African Crude Oil Pipeline


Victories of civil society campaign on financing sow doubts on project’s fate…

MORE >>


Sri Lanka: economic meltdown sparks mass protests


Protest movement demands an end to unaccountable presidential power…

MORE >>

 


Mexico: recall referendum ruse leaves no one satisfied

President López Obrador fails to benefit from manipulating direct democracy mechanism…

MORE >>



Asylum in the UK: a one-way trip to Rwanda?

Deal to be used by UK to remove asylum seekers will enable Rwanda to deflect human rights concerns…

MORE >>



CSW66: a mixed moment for women’s rights

Latest edition of the UN Commission on the Status of Women sees some successes but also wasted opportunities…

MORE >>



A close call for French democracy

Even if it loses this time, the fear is that the far right is getting closer to power…

MORE >>



Sleeves rolled up: Ukraine’s civil society responds to war

Activism in response to invasion shows the value of an enabled and empowered civil society…

MORE >>



Costa Rica at the polls: voting or gambling?

Apathy and fragmentation yield unexpected results…

MORE >>



Hungary’s election a grim day for civil society

Viktor Orbán’s latest win signals a further assault on rights…

MORE >>



Ukraine war exposes weaknesses of international system

Mixed international response to Russia’s aggression makes the case for global governance reform…

MORE >>



Afghanistan: back to school?

Against all odds, Afghan women and girls mobilise for their right to education…

MORE >>



Peru’s oil spill raises corporate accountability questions

Campaigners call on oil giant Repsol to take full responsibility…

MORE >>



Guatemala: anti-rights movement shows its teeth

Attempt to enact regressive anti-gender law defeated – for the time being…

MORE >>



UAE: tyranny behind the glamour

Events like Expo 2020 and MENA Climate Week cannot conceal the reality of repression…

MORE >>



Algeria: increasing repression belies promise of reform

Away from the international spotlight, country’s stable reputation depends on stifling dissent…

MORE >>



Russia’s anti-war protests: Putin under pressure?

Brave protesters battle fearsome repression and relentless propaganda…

MORE >>



Turkmenistan: tyranny mutates into dynasty

Ritualistic election enthrones president’s son – but his father retains power behind the throne…

MORE >>



South Korean election: women’s rights the biggest loser


Presidential race winner profits from anti-feminist backlash…

MORE >>


Ukraine’s refugees: will compassion prevail over prejudice?


All refugees should be treated with the empathy extended to Ukrainians fleeing conflict…

MORE >>


Chile: winds of change for LGBTQI+ rights


With the Equal Marriage Law, Chile begins to catch up to the times…

MORE >>


Two years of the pandemic: how civil society made the difference


Vital pandemic response makes the case for an effective and enabled civil society…

MORE >>


Sisterhood back on the streets


Women’s movement emerges from pandemic in full force…

MORE >>


Myanmar: junta’s economic power in the firing line


Businesses that prop up military rule under pressure to withdraw…

MORE >>


Belarus: ceremonial referendum confirms Putin’s power


Constitutional changes open the door to Russia’s nuclear missiles…

MORE >>


Canada: trucker protests set off alarms


No country is immune to the far-right challenge…

MORE >>


Colombia rides the green wave


Constitutional Court judgment on abortion rights rewards feminist activism…

MORE >>


El Salvador: regional human rights system delivers civil society victory


Landmark court ruling brings new promise for women’s rights in Latin America…

MORE >>


Time’s up: UK police culture shift is long overdue


A new head won’t suffice – London’s police need a new approach…

MORE >>


Energy transition: dilemmas and trade-offs


Victory in campaign against lithium mining highlights problems of transition to electric vehicles…

MORE >>


Firm, unified response needed to Russia’s aggression


Putin must be made a pariah for tearing up the international rulebook…

MORE >>


Divergent paths: abortion rights in Mexico and the USA


Progress south of the border as regression takes hold in the north…

MORE >>


Spotify: power brings responsibilities


Podcast controversy points to need for greater corporate accountability…

MORE >>