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



Pakistan’s election outcomes leave many unhappy


Voters have signalled they want an end to army’s power …

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El Salvador: a victory for popular authoritarianism


President Bukele’s security successes rewarded with absolute power …

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Gaza: international hypocrisy on full display


States that urged strong action on Russia throw their weight behind Israel …

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Myanmar’s military catastrophe: three years and counting


Junta doesn’t have full control – and is lashing out at civilians …

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Honduras: glass half full


Mixed picture halfway into Xiomara Castro’s term …

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Serbia’s suspicious election


Protests follow evidence of illegal voting by ruling party supporters …

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Democracy alive and well in Taiwan


Vibrant election campaign against backdrop of China’s threat …

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Guatemala’s chance for a new beginning


New president takes office promising to fight corruption and impunity …

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Human rights take a backseat in AI regulation


Civil society urges EU to close loopholes and enhance safeguards …

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Iran, back to the grim normal


How long will order restored by violence last? …

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Bangladesh: election with a foregone conclusion


Ruling party’s win guaranteed by pre-election crackdown …

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Gaza: international system failing latest test


Consensus on ceasefire urgently needed as atrocities continue …

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COP28: one step further


Need for fossil fuel cuts acknowledged at last – but it’s not nearly enough …

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Afghanistan: gender apartheid must be stopped


Persistent acts of internal resistance must be backed by international pressure …

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Sudan’s conflict needs civil society solutions


Peace can’t be left in the hands of the generals …

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Latvia: a vital first step towards marriage equality


Passage of civil unions bill followed by anti-rights backlash …

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Haiti: international community must work with civil society


Current policing plan fails to address bigger problems …

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The Netherlands latest country to tilt to the right


Right-wing populist comes shock first in election …

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Argentina plunges into the unknown


Far-right outsider wins presidential runoff …

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Australia: reconciliation back to square one?


Constitutional referendum fails to recognise an Indigenous voice …

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COP28: another climate summit in closed civic space


United Arab Emirates offers greenwashing and PR instead of climate solutions …

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Nagorno-Karabakh: far-reaching consequences of a neglected conflict


Accountability needed over rights violations of multitudes forced to flee …

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Argentina: unpalatable choices in election plagued with uncertainty


Far-right outsider could still win 19 November presidential runoff …

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Ecuador: an end to instability?


Election result brings opportunity to address violence – but time is short and cost of failure is high …

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Hope for change in Poland


Civil society expects improvements in civic space, the rule of law and the rights of excluded groups …

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Mauritius begins to correct a historic wrong towards LGBTQI+ people


Supreme Court rejects criminalisation of same-sex relations as an abhorrent colonial relic …

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Gaza: immediate ceasefire needed


Long-term solutions must also be advanced to respect human rights …

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Brazil: a step forward for Indigenous peoples’ rights


Supreme Court backs Indigenous land rights – but political vested interests have fought back …

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All change in New Zealand’s election


Political volatility rises under cost-of-living crisis …

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Russia kept out of UN Human Rights Council


But non-competitive elections see rights abusers remain in the majority …

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Vietnam: another turn of the screw


Environmental activism in the crosshairs of repression …

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Slovakia: election points to regressive turn ahead


Pro-Russia populist frontrunner to form new government …

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Mexico on the rights path


Decriminalisation of abortion a historic victory for the feminist movement …

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Maldives election: what now for civil society?


Shift towards China signalled in presidential race result …

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UN General Assembly: PR and platitudes


Sustainable Development Goals summit brings no breakthrough …

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Bahrain’s political prisoners: resistance against the odds


Democratic partners must prove their human rights commitment by urging reform …

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Ethiopia: no peace, no justice


Government is doing everything it can to evade international accountability …

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G20 summit: international ritual lacking in substance


Host government India uses meeting as pre-election PR exercise …

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Iran: one year on, what’s changed?


Discontent likely to flare up again …

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Gabon: the end of a dictatorship… and the beginning of another?


Military coups rarely lead to democracy …

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Sudan: millions forced to flee conflict


Urgent humanitarian response needed for the many displaced in the country and across borders …

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BRICS: the burgeoning of an international repressive alliance?


New members largely a gallery of authoritarian states …

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Zimbabwe: prospects for change denied in skewed election


Ruling party uses every lever available to tilt results …

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Guatemala: change within reach


Election result brings hope for revitalisation of democracy …

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Tunisia: racism on top of repression


Attacks on Black Africans latest tactic of authoritarian president …

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Thailand: democratic demands for change thwarted


Military-aligned parties part of new government that excludes election winners …

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Ecuador: stakes high ahead of presidential runoff


Early elections yield inconclusive results amid mounting insecurity challenges …

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Hong Kong goes after its exiles


International arrest warrants and bounties all part of a picture of transnational repression …

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Senegal: democracy in the balance?


Protests repressed and media restricted ahead of presidential election …

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Pride 2023: defiant joy against anti-rights backlash


LGBTQI+ people around the world keep mobilising against the odds …

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Kenya: cost of living protests met with police repression


Any solution to systemic violence must start with challenging impunity …

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UK backtracks on climate commitments


Fresh wave of extraction unleashed with climate activists criminalised …

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Central African Republic: president in for the long haul


Dubious referendum abolishes presidential term limits …

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Niger coup: a further blow for democracy in West Africa


Military rule in the region is bringing civic space crackdowns …

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Cambodia’s election a blatant farce


Electoral ritual grounded in repression paves way for dynastic succession …

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Nepal’s same-sex marriage breakthrough


Court decision must now be followed by legal change …

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Spain’s far right stopped in its tracks


Inconclusive election follows campaign targeting women’s and LGBTQI+ rights …

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Pakistan’s civil society feels the pressure


Amid power struggles, protest rights and media freedoms are under attack …

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Brazil back on the green track


Environmental policy enforcement resumes after four years of regression …

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Eswatini: election with no democracy on the horizon


Absolute monarch keeps showing he’s not serious about dialogue …

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Greek election: no good news for migrants and refugees


Attacks on civil society likely to continue …

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Estonia: the start of a rainbow domino effect?


First post-Soviet state to recognise same-sex marriage, with others expected to follow …

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Cloud lingers over Sierra Leone’s election


Transparency urgently needed to dispel doubts …

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Guatemala clings to democratic promise


Political elite reacts by manoeuvring to try to protect its power …

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Finland tilts to the far right


Once-fringe right-wing populists a major partner in new government …

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Myanmar: military junta gets a free pass


Regional body should follow civil society’s roadmap towards democracy …

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UN Cybercrime Convention: could the cure be worse than the disease?


Treaty under negotiation could give repressive states further tools to stifle dissent …

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UN Security Council: new members but little change


Authoritarian Belarus loses bid to join – but structural reform remains much needed …

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USA: battle still on for abortion rights


Regression and resistance both play out as focus shifts to medication abortion …

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Hong Kong’s lights of freedom extinguished


Attempts to mark anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre met with further repression …

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Hungary’s latest assault on LGBTQI+ rights


Proposed law adds to the pressure on a community vilified for political advantage …

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Hopes for renewal dashed in Turkey


Strongman’s election victory signals further repression ahead …

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Syria back in the fold


Authoritarian leader Bashar al-Assad welcomed back into the Arab League despite widespread rights abuses …

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Climate change gets its day in court


International Court of Justice to issue advisory opinion on states’ climate obligations …

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Thailand: time for democracy


Military must accept pro-democracy opposition’s overwhelming election victory …

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Chile: new constitution in the hands of the far right


Constitutional Council election blows hopes for a progressive, rights-based constitution …

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SDGs: time to get back on course


Realising goals will require both global financial reform and the opening of civic space …

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Paraguay: the change that wasn’t


Anti-rights outsider rises while long-time ruling party prevails yet again …

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Uzbekistan: a president for life?


Constitutional referendum allows president to stay put until 2040 while paying lip service to human rights …

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Press freedom under attack


Journalists risk harassment, detention, violence and death just for doing their job …

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Fiji: deeper democracy or continuing danger?


New government takes positive steps to respect rights but needs to go further …

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The Netherlands: climate action faces backlash


Climate protesters criminalised as anti-environmental politics rises …

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Nicaragua, five years on from the April protests


Given the growing destruction of civil society, is there a democratic way out in sight? …

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Sudan’s crisis spills into conflict


Battle between two military factions shows they were never serious about democratic transition …

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Abolishing the death penalty: progress and setbacks


Reforms in Malaysia and Zambia show change is possible – but there’s still a long way to go …

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Commonwealth Africa: LGBTQI+ rights under attack


Anti-rights reaction in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda seeks to erase LGBTQI+ people …

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Israel: assault on judicial independence the tip of the iceberg


Protest movement rises – but needs to acknowledge the full reality of repression …

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The plastic crisis: a race against the clock


Negotiations on a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution need to listen to civil society rather than the plastics industry …

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France: pensions deadlock puts democracy under strain


Security force violence raises renewed questions about impunity …

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Cuba: elections without choices


Authoritarian regime seeks legitimacy in an election ritual without any substance …

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Russia’s boots on the ground in Africa


Wagner Group is spreading Russian influence – and extracting vital resources – in country after country …

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Greece: humanitarian action under attack


Government is repressing the rights of migrants and refugees – and the civil society that defends them …

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Rising repression in the UK


Crackdowns on protest rights and vilification of asylum-seekers alarming signs of a longstanding democracy’s authoritarian creep …

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Bahrain: a botched whitewashing attempt


Hosting of Inter-Parliamentary Union summit inadvertently throws the spotlight on denial of democracy and human rights …

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Moldova: a crisis of Russia’s making


Energy crunch and pro-Russia protests pose biggest post-independence test for democracy …

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International Women’s Day 2023: not one step back


In a turbulent year, women mobilised to secure gains, resist regression and push for more …

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Georgia: danger averted, for now


Civil society sees off restrictive law – but expects more attacks …

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Belarus: a prison state in Europe


Putin’s ally acts the strongman but war could be his downfall …

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The Escazú Agreement: from paper to reality?


Progress is being made, but several ratifications are missing and a long road to implementation lies ahead …

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Tax justice: a civil society struggle


United Nations tax resolution offers crucial first step …

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Turkey/Syria earthquake: natural disaster and human failures


Turkey/Syria earthquake: natural disaster and human failures …

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Nigeria’s election: same old, same old


Young people sure to keep looking for the change that didn’t come …

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Sudan: there’s no democracy without civil society


More questions than answers in latest transition plan …

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One year into Russia’s war on Ukraine: civil society in the crossfire


Ukraine’s civil society is responding while Russia’s endures further crackdown …

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Myanmar’s forgotten crisis


International lack of action is allowing military junta to get away with murder …

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Nicaragua: an opportunity for democratic solidarity


Release of political prisoners could be a sign of the ruling regime’s strength – or weakness …

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Venezuela: the end of civil society as we know it?


Visit by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights falls short of civil society expectations …

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Eswatini: democracy a matter of life and death


Killing of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko the latest troubling development in absolute monarchy …

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Far-right threats sparked by pandemic denial


Conspiracy theories would be a laughing matter were it not for the real threat of violence …

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As difficult as it is necessary: the process towards a binding business and human rights treaty


Challenges mount as unofficial deadline for completion approaches …

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Peru: democracy at a crossroads


A fresh election is urgently needed – but may not solve longstanding political crisis …

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Brazil: can the far-right genie be put back into the bottle?


Former president Bolsonaro has unleashed extremist forces he no longer controls …

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Australia: still silencing the climate alarm


Government says it takes the climate crisis seriously but instead restricts the right to peaceful protest …

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Global Biodiversity Framework: from words to action?


Major agreement to reverse ecosystem destruction now needs to be funded and implemented …

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Afghanistan: theocracy pushes women to the margins


Islamic Emirate proclaimed in 2021 comes to fruition by completing the exclusion of women from work and education …

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Fiji’s new government: a less repressive trajectory?


A rare change of government offers a renewed test for democracy …

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Iran: fearless protests, fierce repression


Theocratic regime responds with full force to its biggest-ever challenge …

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Barbados: third time’s a trend


Third state in Commonwealth Caribbean to decriminalise same-sex relations in 2022 …

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Tanzania: an encouraging step forward for girls’ rights


African Union body orders government to lift ban on pregnant students, safeguarding education and reproductive rights …

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Indonesia’s new criminal code: a turn for the worse


Long-overdue changes to outdated law only make it more hostile to women, LGBTQI+ people and other excluded groups …

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Civil society caught in the crossfire of Mali’s row with France


Military junta bans organisations that receive French funding as it moves ever closer to Russia …

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US midterm elections: a temporary respite?


Imminent danger averted in an election that put voting rights and women’s rights on the ballot – but threats continue …

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China: pandemic protests force a rare retreat


Authoritarian state gives into protest pressure by dropping its ‘zero covid’ policy …

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Syrian and Venezuelan refugees: two faces of the same crisis


The two biggest migration flows of our time, Syrians and Venezuelans, face distinct challenges in their host countries …

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Tunisia: dismantling democracy, one step at a time


Upcoming parliamentary election will be held under new rules designed to allow the president to continue to accumulate power …

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A ‘New Kazakhstan’, or more of the same?


President positions as a reformer – but his latest implausible landslide election win is straight out of the old playbook …

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Cuba: why flee paradise?


Intensifying repression and economic crunch are driving an unprecedented exodus from the ailing one-party state …

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Mexico: last state joins the rainbow wave


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

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Malaysia: will new government bring real change?


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

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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 …

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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 …

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Ethiopia: will the ceasefire be followed by peace?


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

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Qatar 2022: glory at what price?


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

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Bahrain: election without freedoms falls far short of democracy


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

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Taiwan in the firing line


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

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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 …

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Israel: most extreme government ever on the cards


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

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Brazil: danger averted


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

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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 …

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Lebanon: people take on the banks


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

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Haiti: will another international intervention help?


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

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China’s Xi Jinping at the pinnacle of power


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

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Transnational justice: impunity under challenge


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

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Zimbabwe: rights under further attack ahead of 2023 elections


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

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Bulgaria: stuck in a loop?


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

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NATO’s growing pains


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

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Serbia: LGBTQI+ people the latest target of repression


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

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Tunisia: a rare moment of LGBTQI+ visibility


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

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Change in Lesotho: how much, and who for?


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

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UN Human Rights Council takes action on Russia


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

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Afghanistan’s frozen assets and a looming winter crisis


Civil society campaigns for urgent action to avert humanitarian disaster …

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Brazil: world awaits pivotal presidential runoff vote


Close result expected after polarising campaign …

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Burkina Faso: second coup further dents hope of democracy


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

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China: UN Human Rights Council fails crucial test


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

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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 …

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Court action for climate justice: a growing movement


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

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UN General Assembly: no room for civil society?


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

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Iran: could women protesters bring down the theocracy?


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

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Solomon Islands: democracy on hold


Government postpones election amid sensitivity over links with China …

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Italy: triumph of the far right


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

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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 …

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Another breakthrough for LGBTQI+ rights in the Caribbean


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

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Indonesia: fuel price protests at high-handed government


Country the latest in global wave of economic protests …

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


Junta seeking to reverse progress made following 2019 revolution …

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


Landmark resolution must now be followed by action …

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Big challenges ahead for new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


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

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Sweden’s far right rises


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

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Ocean Treaty: unfinished business


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

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Angola: the democratic transition that never was


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

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China: UN report leaves no room to hide


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

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Iran’s women the renewed targets of theocratic repression


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

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Pakistan: the lethal impacts of climate change


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

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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 …

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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 …

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UK: new prime minister, same old problems?


Liz Truss takes over facing huge economic challenges …

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


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

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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 …

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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 …

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


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

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Singapore: belated recognition of LGBTQI+ rights


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

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Malawi: protests against selective justice reveal deeper democratic deficits


Protesters seeking accountability find repression instead …

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DRC: anti-UN protests decry worsening insecurity


Protests and violence need long-term solutions …

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Vanuatu’s climate plan shows way forward


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

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Kenya: a president elected – or perhaps not?


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

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


Junta bans protests following announcement of long transition period …

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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 …

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Japan: still an outlier on marriage equality


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

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Papua New Guinea: election chaos poses integrity questions


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

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Victory against anti-rights backlash at the UN


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

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Antigua and Barbuda: a step forward for LGBTQI+ rights


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

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Saudi Arabia: clean as new


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

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Sri Lanka: change falls short of protest demands


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

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Chad: democracy still on hold


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

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Democracy cancelled: Tunisia’s new constitution


Low-turnout referendum confirms president’s absolute power…

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Changing times in Oceania?


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

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Ethiopia: peace desperately needed


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

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Gabon and Togo offer renewed test of Commonwealth values


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

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Uzbekistan: protests further show need for democracy


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

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Migrants pay the deadly cost of Spain’s harsh approach


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

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Republicanism on the rise in the Caribbean


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

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


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

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Cuba: a year on from historic pro-democracy protests


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

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Tanzania: Maasai people resist forced evictions


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

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Abortion rights in the USA: regression against the tide


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

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20 years of the International Criminal Court


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

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Rohingya refugees: still far from home


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

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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…

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Colombia’s historic left turn


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

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Ecuador: protests over or only on hold?


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

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Wanted: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


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

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Sudan: military needs to make way for democracy


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

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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….

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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…

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Somalia: drought and conflict a dual threat


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

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LGBTQI+ rights in the Commonwealth: time for change


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

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Palestine: activism gone digital


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

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Iran: food price rises fuel renewed protests


Government responds by vilifying protesters and unleashing yet more violence…

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


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

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Thailand: king’s critics criminalised


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

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Starbucks workers: partners in shared success?


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

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Philippines: democracy in mourning


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

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Elections bring a breath of fresh air to Lebanese politics


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

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Escazú Agreement: promising beginnings


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

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Change on the cards in Australia


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

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South Africa: the deadly impacts of climate change


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

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


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

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Nigeria: students hope to go back to school


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

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Indonesia: breakthrough on gender-based violence


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

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Twitter: takeover talk sparks hate speech fears


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

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India: horror heatwaves bring civil society response


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

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Hong Kong: another step closer to China


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

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India: hijab row the latest show of Hindu nationalism


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

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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…

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


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

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Game not over: resistance against East African Crude Oil Pipeline


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

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Sri Lanka: economic meltdown sparks mass protests


Protest movement demands an end to unaccountable presidential power…

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Mexico: recall referendum ruse leaves no one satisfied

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

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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…

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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…

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A close call for French democracy

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

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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…

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Costa Rica at the polls: voting or gambling?

Apathy and fragmentation yield unexpected results…

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Hungary’s election a grim day for civil society

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

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Ukraine war exposes weaknesses of international system

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

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Afghanistan: back to school?

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

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Peru’s oil spill raises corporate accountability questions

Campaigners call on oil giant Repsol to take full responsibility…

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Guatemala: anti-rights movement shows its teeth

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

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UAE: tyranny behind the glamour

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

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Algeria: increasing repression belies promise of reform

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

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

Brave protesters battle fearsome repression and relentless propaganda…

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Turkmenistan: tyranny mutates into dynasty

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

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South Korean election: women’s rights the biggest loser


Presidential race winner profits from anti-feminist backlash…

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Ukraine’s refugees: will compassion prevail over prejudice?


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

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Chile: winds of change for LGBTQI+ rights


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

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


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

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Sisterhood back on the streets


Women’s movement emerges from pandemic in full force…

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Myanmar: junta’s economic power in the firing line


Businesses that prop up military rule under pressure to withdraw…

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Belarus: ceremonial referendum confirms Putin’s power


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

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Canada: trucker protests set off alarms


No country is immune to the far-right challenge…

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Colombia rides the green wave


Constitutional Court judgment on abortion rights rewards feminist activism…

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El Salvador: regional human rights system delivers civil society victory


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

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


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

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Energy transition: dilemmas and trade-offs


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

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Firm, unified response needed to Russia’s aggression


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

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Divergent paths: abortion rights in Mexico and the USA


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

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Spotify: power brings responsibilities


Podcast controversy points to need for greater corporate accountability…

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