Civicus

‘It’s Time UN Turned Ideas to ‘UNMute’ Civil Society into Action’

How do you get a seat at the table when you can’t even access the building? This question loomed as activists, faith-based leaders, and NGO representatives gathered at the NY Ford Foundation. They discussed how to amplify the voice of civil society organizations at the UN Headquarters across the street.

Mandela Day Reminder to Stand Witness to Human Rights Defenders

As human rights increasingly deteriorate, rights defenders are being violently suppressed. Abducted, detained, tortured, and humiliated, many now live one day at a time. They have been told, in no uncertain times, that anything could happen. They are now asking the global community to stand as a witness.

Human Rights Defenders in Exile Safety Imperiled by Host Countries’ Declining Civil Rights

While leaving one’s country and becoming a refugee is a last resort, it is a decision that many, like Steve Kitsa, have had to make. As conflict becomes increasingly protracted in many African countries, many others will take this step.

How Wagner Group, Mercenaries With a Wider Agenda, Impact Civil Society

The Wagner Group, a shadowy mercenary group that has been operating for many years in African countries such as Sudan, Mali, the Central African Republic, and other mainly Francophone countries, has again been thrust into the limelight due to its involvement in the Ukraine war on behalf of Russia.

Nigeria’s Post-Election Reset Needs Youth-Centred Accountable Leaders

Youth have already transformed the narrative of the 2023 elections, and it would be crucial for Nigeria’s newly elected president to consider their issues as he takes on the enormous task of rebuilding the country, says CIVICUS’ Advocacy and Campaigns Lead David Kode. Speaking on the eve of the Presidential election, Kode told IPS there had been an 11 percent increase in registration since the 2019 elections, and youth have shown more interest in these elections than any other since 1999.

Media Freedom in Africa Remains Under Attack

Imagine a world without the media, where we have no verified information about what’s going on around us. Where everything is hearsay and gossip, where there are no trusted sources of information. It would be hard to operate in a world like that: to make decisions about what to do about the things that affect our lives.

OPINION: Refugee Crisis – Diverting Funds From Civil Society is a Bad Idea

Europe is in the throes of a refugee crisis and it’s not difficult to see that it does not quite know how to respond to it. By mid-October more than 600,000 people had reached Europe by sea.

Opinion: Why Are Threats to Civil Society Growing Around the World?

Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo  is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us. 

Opinion: Challenging the Power of the One Percent

When you are faced with the task of moving an object but find it is too heavy to lift, what is your immediate and most natural response? You ask someone to help you lift it. And it makes all the difference.

Opinion: Measurement Matters – Civic Space and the Post-2015 Framework

For those of us interested in a vibrant civil society, it seems to be best of times and the worst of times.

Laying the Foundations of a World Citizens Movement

Has organised civil society, bound up in internal bureaucracy, in slow, tired processes and donor accountability, become simply another layer of a global system that perpetuates injustice and inequality?

Civil Society Freedoms Merit Role in Post-2015 Development Agenda

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, an advocacy NGO, is facing criminal charges for sending a tweet that said: “many Bahrain men who joined terrorism and ISIS have come from the security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator”.

OPINION: Put People Power Back at Centre of Citizen Action

A few weeks ago, I co-signed perhaps the most important open letter of my career. It was an open provocation to my fellow activists and colleagues, to the members of our organisation, and to all those who, like me, earn their living in the civil society sector.

Why Principle Matters at UN Human Rights Council

The killings of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, in Gaza – whose only fault was to have been born on the wrong side of the wall – was a major point of contention at the United Nations Human Rights Council at the end of July.

Vibrant Civil Society, A Must For South Sudan

I had the privilege of visiting South Sudan a few months after the world’s youngest state had been born in July 2011.  Then, most people were wondering what the future held for the country.  The road has not been easy so far.

Gambia Media Crackdown Continues

Last July marked 19 years of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s inordinately long rule. His legacy during this time is to mark his country as one of the most unapologetically repressive states in Africa.

Clampdown on CSOs Worldwide

As Zimbabwe is expected to head to the polls in a little less than two months, clampdowns on civil society in that southern African nation have increased, according to Godwin Phiri, western region chairperson of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe.

Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah

Q&A: A New Era of Citizen Action Is Dawning

The Global Civil Society Network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation has a new secretary general - Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, who was appointed Monday by the board of directors following the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal.

Rio’s Roadmap Falls Flat, Civil Society Groups Say

"Very disappointing." That was the term business and non-governmental organisations used to describe the formal intergovernmental negotiations at the Rio+20 Earth Summit as of Tuesday.

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