Defending Democratic Space

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.


South Korea: Inspiration for Democracy in Asia

The Candlelight Movement demonstrated the desire to hold those in power accountable and reengage in grassroots advocacy. On February 27, 2019, the World Movement convened members of South Korea’s civil society, academia, and government to discuss how Korea can provide stronger democratic leadership in Asia in its aftermath.

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Tackling Freedom of Assembly and of Association in Digital Spaces

On January 28, 2019, Stanford University hosted a roundtable between Clément Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, and private technology firms to discuss how the private sector can help protect these freedoms online. This event was organized in partnership with the World Movement for Democracy.

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Tools to Combat Misinformation

The World Movement convened a group of online media experts, activists, and scholars to discuss the problem of “infodemics”—a pattern of rapidly spreading outbreaks of misinformation. Since the phenomenon has become even more urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with increases in its frequency and also the seriousness of its real world impacts, the panelists explored concrete tactics that can be used to contain the start of an infodemic.

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Access to Resources

Civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world increasingly face restrictions on their access to domestic and foreign donor funding.

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There are hundreds of individuals in the world who are unjustly imprisoned because they chose to challenge oppressive laws and stand for human rights or because they openly advocate for more transparent and accountable governance.

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A Call for Democratic Renewal

The Statement rallies activists, governments, and citizens to push back against the wave of resurgent authoritarianism.

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Civic Space Initiative

The Civic Space Initiative (CSI) supports civil society activists facing restrictions on their freedoms by helping them understand their rights and helping the public recognize the positive contribution civil society organizations (CSO) make in their lives.

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Defending Civil Society

Launched in 2007, the Defending Civil Society project is an ongoing effort to develop strategies with and build solidarity among activists and groups seeking to reform repressive laws targeting civil society.

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News & Alerts

February 1, 2019

World Movement Network Calls for Action on Nicaragua

As the crisis in Nicaragua reaches nearly a year, the World Movement remains heartened by actions taken by the international community to defend Nicaraguan citizens. Since protests broke out in April 2018, the World Movement has issued several DemocracyAlerts concerning the crisis in Nicaragua. To learn more about the past year’s events, read our Alerts […]

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March 22, 2019

World Movement Submits General Comment on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association

On March 11, 2019, the World Movement for Democracy submitted a general comment on Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), outlining the rights of peaceful assembly and association established by international law and regional norms. The World Movement’s response focuses on the right of individuals and associations, including civil […]

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