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About the Civic Space Initiative (CSI)


The CSI is enhancing civic space through the following initiatives:

  1. Directly impacting the shape and content of international law by supporting the UN Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association.
  2. Enhancing UN level collaboration, including among UNSRs with related mandates.
  3. Facilitating the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
  4. Shaping global, multilateral initiatives, helping to ensure that they recognize and protect the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression.
  5. Strengthening the freedoms of association and expression through regional human rights mechanisms.
  6. Empowering local actors to respond to regulatory threats and advance reform at the country level.
  7. Raising public awareness of the value of civil society through film, online platforms, and other innovative tools.
  8. Supporting cutting-edge research and publications to expand knowledge in the field.

For more information about each component, please navigate the bar on the left.


The CSI is enhancing the ability of people to come together and improve their everyday lives. From bringing civil society activists in direct contact with UN mechanisms, to ensuring that CSOs and human rights defenders are legally protected in Latin America, to empowering Burmese to shape a new law on associations, the CSI is creating spaces for civil society around the globe.

  • By shaping international law, the CSI strengthens advocacy efforts of civil society around the world.
  • By influencing global and regional mechanisms, the CSI helps to ensure that they continue to play a robust role in protecting CSOs and human rights defenders.
  • By empowering local actors, the CSI supports CSOs in target countries to push back against repressive actions by the state.
  • By providing physical and legal protection for human rights defenders and CSOs, the CSI ensures the continuation of their crucial work despite threat and harassment.

This webpage is prepared by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law through the Civic Space Initiative, implemented in partnership with ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the World Movement for Democracy.