CIVICUS Alliance has launched a new tool to monitor the state of civil society in real time, and the Charity & Security Network is proud to be a research partner on the project, known as CIVICUS Monitor.
The CIVICUS Monitor is the world’s first online platform that provides near real-time updates on human rights violations and the status of civic space for every country in the world. It is a trusted source for the latest news and analysis from local civil society sources and researchers from around the world. It allows activists, citizens, media, academics and decision-makers to track threats and find out if our fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression are being realised or threatened.
As the CIVICUS Monitor research partner for North America, the Charity & Security Network monitors and reports on civil society developments in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Cuba.
The new tool rates countries based on how well they uphold the three fundamental rights that enable people to act collectively and make change: freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression.
Of the 104 countries currently rated, it finds that civic space in 16 countries – Bahrain, Burundi, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, UAE and Vietnam – is closed, a rating characterised by an atmosphere of fear and violence, and severe punishment for those who dare to disagree with authorities. A further 32 countries are rated repressed, meaning that 3.2 billion people live in countries where civic space is either repressed or closed.
Twenty-one countries are rated obstructed and 26 narrowed. Just nine countries were rated as open, meaning the state safeguards space for civil society and provides platforms for dialogue. There were violations of civic freedoms in every region of the world, but these are more concentrated in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas – Annex I below provides full country ratings.
“The CIVICUS Monitor shows that far from valuing citizen action, states are cracking down on protesters, shutting down organisations on the flimsiest of pretexts, and brutally silencing dissent,” said Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Secretary-General of CIVICUS. “Governments should not fear people power, they should be harnessing its potential.”
The monitor’s data will be used by for advocacy at the United Nations, regional bodies and the national level.
Visit the CIVICUS Monitor here.
Watch a short video about the tool here.