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CIVICUS condemns UK government’s attempt to silence civil society

The UK government is receiving widespread condemnation for a new clause in grant agreements that will place restrictions on civil society organisations lobbying the government. Read more

Effort of Colombia’s civil society in peace negotiations not acknowledged

Carlos A Guevara coordinates the information system for Somos Defensores (We Are Defenders), a non-governmental protection program for human rights defenders in Colombia. He is a journalist, audio-visual producer and social communicator specialising in human rights, armed conflict, public opinion, digital rights, peace building and humanitarian assistance based on the “do no harm” principle. He has extensive experience in supporting, training and consulting with social and human rights organisations in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico on issues of advocacy, management of public opinion and human rights, communication for protection, risk analysis, self-protection and management of communications in crisis situations. Read more

Joint letter to King of Bahrain on the arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja

Dear King Hamad,

We, the undersigned Bahraini and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), would like to unequivocally condemn your government’s arrest of human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja along with her infant son. The implementation of Ms. Al-Khawaja’s prison sentence for merely exercising her right to free expression and assembly amounts to arbitrary detention is wholly unacceptable. While Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa indicated an intention to release her, she has not yet been freed from prison and we are concerned that these arbitrary charges remain against her. We therefore call on the Government of Bahrain to secure her immediate and unconditional release. Read more

Joint letter to King of Bahrain on the arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja


Freedom of association is generally respected. However, in recent years space for civil society organisations has been reduced, especially for CSOs working on human rights issues, which faced a loss of funding, loss of legal status and public denigration. Read more


Canada’s vibrant civil society benefits from laws protecting the freedom to assemble peacefully and the freedom of expression. Recently however, new laws, including the Anti-Terrorism Act, have threatened to undermine those safeguards. Read more


Media ownership is highly concentrated, and a recent study shows that only three families own most of the media and capture 57% of the audience. Defamation is still considered a criminal offence, and self-censorship is common - especially in areas where the armed conflict is ongoing. Read more

Peaceful Assembly

In Colombia people protest frequently, and public meetings and demonstrations are typically allowed to proceed. Organisers of public gatherings in Colombia must give notice to the authorities 48 hours in advance. Read more


There are no legal restrictions on the freedom of association in Colombia and the requirements to register and operate an organisation are easy to meet. However, there have been instances where organisations working on human rights issues reported greater difficulty obtaining or retaining legal status than other CSOs dedicated to less sensitive issues. Read more


Violence is the main factor threatening the integrity of civic space in Colombia. The situation has evolved since 2011, as several agreements have been reached in the negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and peace talks are also starting with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s other remaining guerrilla force. Peace, however, has not yet been fully achieved. Read more


There are no independent news sources in China which members of the public can easily access, and the state or the CCP control the majority of media outlets. The state strictly regulates critical content and prevents anything that may harm its image from being published. Read more