History of the Movement

The World Movement was designed to be responsive and flexible to emerging challenges our network has faced over the years. Check out highlights from the past twenty years with the timeline of the World Movement.
View the Timeline

World Movement Participants Share Their Stories

Zainab Bangura

Zainab Bangura, former Chairperson of the World Movement for Democracy Steering Committee, reflects on how she became involved in the World Movement as a democracy activist in Sierra Leone and what steps civil society must take to confront upcoming challenges.

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Carl Gershman

Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, reflects on his experience as a founding member of the World Movement for Democracy and highlights how its biennial Global Assemblies provide activists the ability to build mutual support and share ideas.

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Makoi Popioco

Makoi Popioco, correspondent at CNN Philippines, discusses how his experience as a Hurford Youth Fellow with the World Movement renewed his sense of purpose as an aspiring journalist and drove his documentary photography project “Postcards from Disasters.”

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World Movement Participants Share Their Stories

Glanis Changachirere

Glanis Changachirere, founding director of the Institute for Young Women Development, considers how the World Movement network enriched her personal journey as an activist and helped her impact young women in Zimbabwe’s marginalized communities.

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Nicholas Opiyo

Nicholas Opiyo, founding director of Chapter Four Uganda and World Movement Steering Committee member, reflects on how the network has enriched his work as a human rights lawyer through the ability to learn best practices from around the world and to access “an incredible network of support.”

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Larry Diamond

Larry Diamond, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, reflects on his role as a founding member of the World Movement for Democracy and discusses how the unique and dynamic nature of the World Movement allows it to continue supporting activists 20 years later.

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Hassan Shire

Hassan Shire, executive director of DefendDefenders and Steering Committee member, shares how his experience with the World Movement network enabled him to lead efforts to build solidarity between democrats in Africa through regional hubs for French-speaking & Arabic-speaking African activists.

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Goma Devi Bastola

Goma Devi Bastola, president of the Rural Women’s Network, shares how her Hurford Youth Fellowship introduced her to a global network of women human rights defenders and enriched her work in Nepal by providing the opportunity to learn from similar challenges experienced by women in rural communities around the globe.

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Anita Mitic

Anita Mitic, former director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Serbia, shares how even while facing charges for speaking out about the Srebrenica genocide, the World Movement network made her feel determined to continue her work as an activist. “It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this fight.”

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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, details how she became a member of the Movement at its Sixth Global Assembly and how she continued to be inspired by the impressive human rights defenders in its network throughout her tenure as Chairperson of the World Movement Steering Committee.

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Lee Cheuk Yan

Lee Cheuk Yan, a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and World Movement Steering Committee member, discusses his experience with the World Movement as a founding member and considers how the network has given him strength when hope for democracy seemed lost in Hong Kong.

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Gina Romero

Gina Romero, the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (REDLAD), highlights the World Movement as a “fundamental pillar to strengthen us as a civil society, especially in a region such as Latin America and the Caribbean, where human rights and civic space are increasingly reduced.”

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Matteo Mecacci

Matteo Mecacci, director of the International Campaign for Tibet, reflects on his experience as a Steering Committee member of the World Movement for Democracy and highlights how the diversity of experiences that participants bring makes the Movement unique.

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Ateki Seta Caxton

Ateki Seta Caxton, director of the Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All, describes how his experience as a Hurford Youth Fellow was “pivotal” to the founding of the African Movement for Democracy, which creates new opportunities for young activists.

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Ketevan Chachava

Ketevan Chachava, director of the Center for Development and Democracy and Steering Committee member, shares how the World Movement network has inspired and driven her work since attending the Seventh Assembly, as she works to bridge the divide between civil society and religious communities in Georgia.

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Voices from the Frontlines

The World Movement for Democracy spotlights activists, politicians, and academics who stand up for democratic principles and defend freedom. Watch them talk about how they answered the call and joined the fight for democracy.
Listen to Their Stories.


😃 Felices de ser parte del Movimiento Mundial por la Democracia, la red de redes de activistas que trabajan por la libertad y la democracia en todo el mundo, y que este año está conmemorando su 20 Aniversario. #JuventudYDemocracia #WMD20years 🌍 🌎 🙌🏽

Ryota Jonen on Twitter

“.@movedemocracy Steering Committee is in Malaysia today, learning Malaysian's political transition to democracy after the 2018 breakthrough ele...


El Movimiento Mundial por la Democracia @MoveDemocracy del cual orgullosamente somos parte, celebra sus 20 años uniendo activistas de diversos pensamientos en torno a valores institucionales. Celebramos esta labor compartida y reafirmamos nuestro compromiso con ella. #WMD20Years

In @JuventudLAC and @MoveDemocracy we have a shared mission: A more democratic world. We are celebrating #WMD20Years, we reaffirm our commitment in working towards that goal. @ryotajonen #JuventudYDemocracia

@MoveDemocracy in Kuala Lumpur connecting human rights defenders from around the world to support one another & defend against rising anti-pluralist illiberal populism. I’m honoured to be part of a Steering Committee w courageous democracy advocates from 20+ countries #WMD20Years

Great panel on "Regaining Democratic Momentum: Stories from Malaysia and the world" at the closing of the @MoveDemocracy , @roberthardh chair, @anitavandenbeld @TamaraAdrian @edmundbon & Lee Cheuk-Yan #WMD20Years @panafricannet @DefendDefenders #kualalumpur #Malaysia

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