Coronavirus and Civic Space

The coronavirus is a significant threat to public health; it does not need to be a significant threat to civic freedom. The ICNL Alliance is working to keep civic space healthy. The ICNL-ECNL COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.  Our issue page presents key resources on how the coronavirus response is impacting civic space and the existing international law framework on upholding human rights during the crisis.

Freedom of Assembly in the United States

In response to racial justice protests, ICNL’s U.S. Protest Law Tracker has identified dozens of bills introduced in over 20 states that would restrict the rights of protesters. This restrictive approach is dangerous, but not uniform. Many policymakers at the local, state, and federal level have reacted to the aggressive policing of these protests by proposing reforms aim to better protect the freedom of assembly. Learn more on our U.S. Program page.


U.S. Protest Law Tracker

Started in 2017, the tracker compiles bills – proposed, enacted, or rejected – that could restrict the right to peaceful assembly around the United States.

COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

The ICNL-ECNL COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.

General Comment 37

The UN Human Rights Committee’s general comment offers comprehensive guidance on the right of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Our international staff and network of experts maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of over five thousand resources, including innovative research, original analysis, and more.

Civic Freedom Monitor

We work with a global network of partners to monitor developments related to civic space. The CFM provides current information on civil society law in more than 50 countries and 8 multilateral organizations.

ICNL's Philanthropy Law Reports - landing page button

Philanthropy Law Reports

The Philanthropy Law Reports provide in-depth information on national laws and regulations in nine countries to serve as practical guides for the philanthropic sector and the nonprofit world.

Civic Space 2040

How can we proactively shape the trends transforming our future? How can we protect and expand civic space in the process? The Civic Space 2040 initiative helps answer these questions by crafting a positive vision for the future and strategies to make it a reality.

ICNL's Digital Legal Library - landing page button

Digital Legal Library

This directory of resources for civil society, including domestic and international laws, contains nearly 4,000 documents in more than 60 languages from every UN member state and several autonomous territories.

Country Resources

We maintain a robust collection of country-specific resources, including research and analysis, as well as curated information on a diverse array of issues affecting civic space.

Global Trends in NGO Law Button - leads to page for ICNL's periodic review of legal issues affecting civil society

Global Trends in NGO Law

Featuring contributions from international experts, Global Trends in NGO Law is ICNL’s review of legal trends and key developments affecting civil society around the world.