Ninth Assembly Report

The Ninth Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy was held on May 6-9, 2018 in Dakar, Senegal! Read about the discussions that took place in high-level plenary sessions and breakout workshops led by grassroots organizations, and watch highlights of the conversations in our new interactive report!

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Political Prisoners' Stories

In a new video series, we speak with the families and friends of six political prisoners to learn more about their cases and what life is like after they’ve been unjustly taken from their communities. Listen to the stories of Seymur Hazi, Ilkin Rustamzade, Ilgar Mammadov, Bayram Mammadov, Giyas Ibrahimov, and Fuad Ahmadli below.

Over the past decade, authorities in Azerbaijan have prosecuted hundreds of activists, journalists, and public figures on politically motivated charges like drug possession, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, and even treason.

Watch the Stories Here

Political Prisoners' Stories

As of January 2018, reports indicate there are around 130 political prisoners being held in Azerbaijan. However, these prisoners are more than statistics–they’re husbands, wives, colleagues, friends, sons, and mothers.


Empowering Emerging Leaders

The World Movement aims to strengthen inclusive democratic governance with an emphasis on empowering emerging leaders that are committed to democratic principles. As part of this effort, the World Movement facilitates engagement among emerging leaders from civil society and political parties; exploring constructive ways to enhance their political participation; building effective partnerships between civil society, government, and the private sector; and sustaining democratic movements that influence policy making and institutional reforms.

Business & Democratic Governance

The World Movement for Democracy, Center for International Private Enterprise, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Center jointly launched an initiative in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to enhance private sector, civil society, and government collaboration.

ISSUE Strengthening Democratic Leadership

Empowering Young Activists

The next generation of democratic leadership plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing democracy.  The World Movement believes in the importance of inter-generational dialogue and facilitates exchange of ideas and experiences between seasoned leaders and emerging leaders.Through our Hurford Youth Fellowship,  we empower young activists by helping deepen their understanding of challenges of democracy and linking them with leaders of various democracy movements.


The Hurford Youth Fellowship Program seeks to build the leadership skills and harness the potential of young democracy activists from around the world. Learn more about our fellows and their work.


Reinforcing Democratic Spaces

Freedoms are increasingly restricted for people who wish to voice their concerns, come together, and address those concerns by engaging stakeholders. In both physical and digital spaces, they face limitations on where they can meet, how they can interact, and what they can say or do. This is particularly true under authoritarian regimes, but also under new and established democracies where minority views are marginalized. As a result, citizens have less influence in political processes that impact their lives and are unable to hold their governments accountable.


Access to Resources

Are you an activist curious about your legal right to receive domestic and foreign funding? Visit our Access to Resources Hub, which offers a set of tools to help activists protect their right to access resources. The Hub includes a multi-language infographic, country case study research on the right, educational videos, and additional information for civil society activists to use.

News & Alerts >


October 12, 2018

ALERT: Pakistani Civil Society Leader Faces Detention and Travel Ban

The World Movement is greatly concerned to learn about the arbitrary arrest of and travel ban imposed on Pakistani activist Gulalai Ismail. Ismail was detained at Islamabad International Airport upon returning from London on October 12, 2018. She was released on interim bail, but has been placed on the Exit Control List banning her from […]

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October 8, 2018

Egypt Targets Civil Society Leader Esraa Abdelfattah Under Case 173

The World Movement for Democracy is concerned to learn that Egyptian activist and long-time World Movement participant Esraa Abdelfattah has been summoned to appear before a judge for questioning on October 9, 2018 in relation to Case 173. Commonly called the “NGO foreign funding case,” Case 173 is a politically-motivated investigation into civil society organizations […]

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#SetThemFree Campaign

#SetThemFree is a GLOBAL campaign to build solidarity with those behind bars. Together, we can raise awareness, mobilize others, and engage with stakeholders to achieve their RELEASE.


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The World Movement’s Resource Hub offers a set of tools to help activists protect their legal right to access resources.


Missed the Ninth Assembly? Read more about the discussions held between activists, donors, government representatives, and other democracy practitioners in our new interactive report.


The theme of the Ninth Global Assembly was “Building Strategic Partnerships for Democratic Renewal,” and it took place on May 6-9, 2018, in Dakar, Senegal.


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4 yrs later, #HK gov't continues its persecution against #UmbrellaMovement protesters. We stand in solidarity with 9 pro-dem activists who go on trial today in #HongKong. #FreedomofAssembly is not a crime and must protected in #HongKong.

The est. 130 political prisoners in #Azerbaijan are more than just statistics. In a new video series, we speak with the families of 5 prisoners to learn more about their cases & what life is like after they’ve been unjustly taken away. Watch: #SetThemFree

Thank you for joining us for our hour of silence in recognition of those who are unable to join the conversations that will be happening from 16-18 November around the world. Find an event near you of the 205 in 62 countries or follow #TogetherWeSpeak!

Meet Ilgar Mammadov—a husband, a father, & a former political prisoner in #Azerbaijan. For 5 years, Ilgar was forced to serve an unjust sentence related to his intent to run for presidential elections. Listen to his story, as told by his wife: #SetThemFree

Since 1999, the World Movement has actively empowered democracy movements to engage in cross-regional solidarity, as well as share knowledge, support, and strategies with one another. Connect with other participants with our online participant directory:

“Where is democracy? Where is free speech?” Ilkin Rustamzade was sentenced to 8 yrs during his senior year of university for organizing peaceful protests in #Azerbaijan. We spoke with his mother and father to learn more about his case here: #SetThemFree

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