Global Findings 2023




The CIVICUS Monitor, which began in 2017, tracks the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression in 198 countries and territories.

The annual report, People Power Under Attack, rates the state of civic space conditions based on data collected throughout the year from country-focused civil society organisations, regionally-based research teams, international human rights indices and the CIVICUS Monitor's in-house experts. The data from these four separate sources are then combined to assign each country and territory a rating as either open, narrowed, obstructed, repressed or closed. In the 2023 edition, we unveil new civic space ratings and analyse trends at the regional and global level.

Global Overview Download PDF


A Downward Shift

Civic freedoms are being curtailed in a growing number of countries. Civil society is under severe attack in 118 of 198 countries and territories.

Rating Changes

In this year's report there are civic space rating changes for 12 countries. 7 countries have been downgraded while 5 countries have been upgraded.

Where Do People Live?

Almost a third of the world’s population now lives in countries with closed civic space. This is the highest percentage since 2018, when CIVICUS began systematically tracking civic space conditions around the world.

Who Bears the Brunt?

Among the most targeted and worst-affected groups in 2023 are those advocating for democracy, better governance and protecting the environment.

Freedom of expression in decline

Of the three freedoms monitored, freedom of expression is most commonly targeted by state and non-state sources, accounting for around half of the total violations recorded.

Bright Spots and positive developments

Discover inspiring success stories and resilient movements, with an interactive map that explores civil society triumphs and the release of activists from prison.


The report's regional sections offer focused insights into the distinctive challenges encountered by activists, journalists, and civil society organisations. These segments delve into threats, tactics, and trends relevant to each region, contributing to a nuanced understanding of the global landscape for civic freedoms.


From mature democracies to authoritarian regimes, seven countries have been downgraded and five upgraded in this year's report.


In the final sections of the report, we present actionable policy changes and strategies aimed at safeguarding and advancing civic freedoms globally. There are dedicated recommendations for governments, the United Nations, the private sector and donors.