Shrinking political space of civil society action

ACT Alliance

Governments must stop seeing civil society as a threat and allow it to operate more freely. Currently, the political space of civil society organisations is shrinking in many countries across the world by government policies and actions. Most negative attention is given to organisations or actors who work in justice, human rights or natural resources related areas. The report shows that CSOs are hindered in various ways: through counter-terrorism measures, the war on terror, securitisation of aid and repressive governance in authoritarian states. Such actions comprise negative labelling, administrative restrictions, direct prosecution or physical harassment and intimidation. Although the room for manoeuvre is heavily influenced by the state capacity and regime type, this report shows that even in countries of democratic governments, such as India or Brazil, the civil society actors find it more and more difficult to fulfil their mandate.

ACT Alliance 2011

ACT Alliance is a coalition of more than 130 churches and affiliated organisations working together in 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards. ACT Alliance is supported by 25,000 staff and mobilises about $1.5 billion for its work each year in three targeted areas: humanitarian aid; development; and advocacy.

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