Civic Space Developments

Association

The Bahamian constitution protects the freedom of association in Article 24, and provides that it can only be limited in accordance with the law, and where ‘reasonably required’ in the interests of public safety or to protect the rights of others. Civil society organisations are able to operate freely in practice, and campaign on a range of human rights issues including the protection of migrant rights, and the rights of LGBTI people. Read more

Bahamas-Overview

The Bahamas is a stable democracy, rated highly for its strong protections for fundamental freedoms. Civic space is well respected, allowing people to form associations, conduct peaceful protests and assemblies and share views openly, even if those views are critical of the government. Read more

Expression

By most measures, free expression is protected and enabled in Antigua and Barbuda, and some good recent progress was made to improve the situation. In 2015, criminal defamation was abolished in Antigua and Barbuda following years of campaigning by regional and international civil society groups. Read more

Peaceful Assembly

People in Antigua and Barbuda are usually free to carry out public protests, demonstrations and other gatherings. Sometimes, however, when there is a political reason for a protest, the authorities deny permission, as they did in January 2016. Read more

Association

Civic associations such as professional associations and advocacy groups enjoy protection under the constitution, provisions which are generally respected by the state. This right can only be interfered with by the state for reasons of ‘defence, public order, public morality or public health’. Read more

Expression

Despite constitutional protections, free speech is under threat in Botswana following a series of attacks on critical media. In January 2015 the website of prominent daily Mmegi was hacked and 12 years of archives deleted. Read more

Peaceful Assembly

While freedom of assembly is largely respected in Botswana, groups with opposing views have noted government interference. For example, the government prevented some organisations from entering the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and broke up demonstrations aimed at raising awareness about the indigenous residents of that area. Read more

Botswana-Overview

Conditions for civic activism in Botswana are healthy but narrowing. Citizens are free to form civil society organisations without undue interference from the state and to peacefully assemble and demonstrate in public. Read more

Association

Freedom of association is coming under threat in Botswana due to the overreach of the state security agency, the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS). Civil society groups in Botswana are critical of DISS’ intrusive intelligence methods that undermine basic rights and create a climate of fear. Read more

Antigua and Barbuda-Overview

Antigua and Barbuda is a small and relatively open country, where citizens are usually free to express their opinions, assemble in public and form groups to pursue collective interests. Although political pressure does sometimes interfere with mainstream broadcast and print media, 64% of people can access the Internet, which is free from government restrictions. Read more