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In the news default image final full size

The International Center for Not-for-profit Law (ICNL) remains deeply concerned about the continued detention of Nicholas Opiyo, the executive...


Responding to Covid-19, ICNLand partners tracked the impact of government responses, analyzed trends, informed the public, and supported partners.


ICNL partnered with the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi) at Stanford University to host the first-ever Tech Camp for...


ICNL and the East Africa Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF), joined local partners to launch the Protection of Civic...


ICNL organized the International Workshop on Teaching Nonprofit Law to address civic space issues and education in Central Asia.


This year, the UN Human Rights Committee issued General Comment No. 37 to provide guidance on the right to...


ICNL lead a coalition of groups working to protect the freedom of assembly in the US in response to...

December 18, 20202019-2020 Annual Report

Group of people wearing masks, sorting food in bags for a food drive (Photo: istock)

In our 2019-2020 annual report, we highlight how ICNL and our partners have worked to keep civic space healthy during...

Young woman on leather couch working at a laptop while browsing her phone (Photo: Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash)

This report series, researched and written by the Centre for Internet and Society with support from ICNL, undertakes an...


This ICNL report examines the issue of how terrorism financing laws impact the nonprofit sector in Tunisia.


This ICNL analysis examines the impact of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing on the nonprofit sector in the Middle...


This ICNL analysis examines the impacts of government COVID-19 responses on migrants' civic freedoms in the Middle East and...

2019 AR - Jordan

This analysis provides an overview of the legislative dilemma of addressing disinformation and fake news while protecting civic freedom...


This legal analysis examines regulations relating to electronic fundraising tools available to Tajik Civil Society Organizations.

Black Lives Matter protesters enveloped in tear gas, near the White House in Washington DC, 5/31/2020 (Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash)

President-elect Joe Biden has made revitalizing democracy at home and abroad central to plans for his new administration. This...


This ECNL factsheet on protests taking place in the online space and how international human rights standards, including General...

Social distancing sign at drugstore (Photo: GoToVan/Flickr)

'I Voted' sticker spool on top of a ballot envelope. Stickers have an American flag on them and are in English and Spanish. (GPA PHOTO ARCHIVE/Flickr)

In the face of a potentially contested 2020 US election, there are concerns that authorities will infringe First Amendment...

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In September of 2020, ICNL LLC's Jordan team held a webinar called “Challenges and Prospects of the Role of...

National ballet dancers perform at the Rwanda Uganda Business Forum Dinner - Kigali, 11 October 2013 (Paul Kagame/Flickr)

Uganda's recent Stage Play and Public Entertainment Rules threaten to stifle the creative arts by limiting artistic expression. This...

SLAPPS in South Dig Graphic - post image

On October 7, 2020, ICNL, BHRRC, and Greenpeace International hosted a webinar to hear accounts from activists who have...

DM Black Frame

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Darla Mecham on October 8, 2020. Darla...

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In Kyrgyzstan, civil society organizations have several options for digital fundraising, including websites, SMS, crowdfunding platforms, e-wallets, and electronic...

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This page provides information on Middle Eastern and North African government responses to the coronavirus, using information from the...

Announcement graphic (the word "announcement!" in white lettering over a background pattern of teal, aqua, and orange)

Se invita a organizaciones sin fines de lucro (OSFL) en los países miembros del GAFILAT, más El Salvador, a...

Women demonstrate for labor rights in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (photo credit: Jeff Vize)

This tool offers detailed guidance for civil society organizations on using General Comment 37 to help advance freedom of...

Donatien Voungoukpala, 13 (solid blue t-shirt), with his brothers Fleuri Rodrigue Hipai, 17, and Aime Bera-Mbolikia, 10, go to fetch water at a a nearby spring, their principle water source. August 20, 2012, Rounga Village, Bangassou, Central African Republic. Donatien and his family are IDPs who relocated to Bangassou from Rafai approximately one year ago as a result of the LRA conflict.


Assorted coins (photo credit: Steve Johnson/Unsplash)

New technologies and internet resources provide civil society organizations with numerous opportunities for fundraising. In Kazakhstan, 84.2% of the...

Police mace demonstrators outside the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct building in North Minneapolis on November 18, 2015. (Tony Webster/Wikimedia)

In response to nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, law enforcement has used...

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This Radio Free Asia article discusses the findings from the 4th Fundamental Freedoms Monitoring Project (FFMP).

Flag of the United Nations (Graphic credit: Wikimedia)

Sit-in protest in Whitehall, UK in May 2009 (Photo: Southbanksteve/Wikimedia)

The UN Human Rights Committee has adopted pivotal new guidance on the right of peaceful assembly. On July 27,...

Protesters in Hong Kong getting arrested by police, July 2020. (Photo: Studio Incendo/Wikimedia)

The passage of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law threatens to upend civic freedoms and usher in a new...

Flag of the United Nations (Graphic credit: Wikimedia)

SLAPPS in South Dig Graphic - post image

In this report, ICNL presents the first cross-regional survey of SLAPPs in the Global South, along with the first...

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These comments address ‘The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020’ (the Act) of the Philippines, highlighting the potential impact on the...

A line of Syrian refugees crossing the border of Hungary and Austria on their way to Germany. Hungary, Central Europe, 6 September 2015. (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikipedia)

This ICNL article examines the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the civic freedoms of migrants and groups...

George Floyd protests in Columbus, Ohio (Photo: Paul Becker/Wikimedia)

In the wake of complaints about law enforcement’s response to the George Floyd protests, local, state, and the federal...

Lifeline Advocacy in Restricted Spaces Toolkit cover image

The Advocacy in Restricted Spaces toolkit is a practical resource that emphasizes that advocacy is possible even in highly...

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This report provides a thematic study on the right to freedom of association of migrants, in which the Special...

George Floyd protests in Philadelphia (Photo: Rob Bulmahn/Flickr)

In response to nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, law enforcement officials have frequently used so-called “less...

Shoppers in Hong Kong wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020. (Andrii Makukha/Wikimedia)

This page provides information on Asian and Pacific government responses to the coronavirus, using information from the COVID-19 Civic...

Climate justice protest. (Photo: Linh Do/Flickr)

This briefer, presented by ICNL and ECNL, outlines some of the common legal and extralegal measures used to target...

On May 26, 2020, people protested against police violence after the death of George Floyd. Large crowd of protesters in a street. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Wikimedia)

Protests have spread across major U.S. cities over police violence against people of color, sparked by the killing of...

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Photo: Office of Tom Wolf/Flickr)

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a parallel crisis for civic space. Many of the emergency laws and other extraordinary...

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The COVID-19 pandemic does not have to be a crisis for human rights. In the context of widespread adoption...

Pile of cryptocurrency coins including Bitcoin, Monero, ZCash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Dash. (Photo: QuoteInspector/Flickr)

This report assesses opportunities and obstacles in charitable donations of virtual currencies. It aims to bring civil society organizations,...

Social distancing sign at drugstore (Photo: GoToVan/Flickr)

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the United States has seen numerous protests, albeit at a relatively small scale. However,...

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A statement by UN Special Rapporteurs regarding India's Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 (the amended Act) and to...

Hands holding money with a seedling growing - symbolizes a new investment (Photo: 401(K) 2012/Wikipedia)

The Fundraising Principles report provides a global overview of current trends in fundraising regulation and self-regulation. Additionally, it offers...

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In this report, the UNSR on Freedom of Expression registers alarm that some efforts to combat the coronavirus disease...

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The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has put together COVID-19 resource hub and open forum for partners to share the...

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On April 1, 2020, ICNL hosted Regional Virtual Round Tables for civil society partners in Latin America and the...

Group of outdoor security cameras (Photo credit: Nathaniel Dahan)

Driven by a desire to protect the health and wellbeing of their citizens and residents, many governments have taken...

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On November 15, 2019, the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (the Act), which repeals and replaces the Public...

UNSR meeting with civil society and human rights defenders on Asia issues in March 2019 (Photo: Jeff Vize)

Made up of more than 40 countries, Asia defies easy categorization. On the one hand, many countries are home...

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UNSR Clément Voule issued ten key principles to guide states' response to a public health crisis. A checklist and...

Woman wearing a medical mask outside during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: EVG Photos/Pexels)

Face masks are in the news. The CDC now recommends that Americans wear face masks to reduce transmission of...

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This database tracks case law, constitutions, and international instruments from around the world that deal with the Right to...

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This page provides information on African government responses to the coronavirus, using information from the COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker.

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The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is maintaining a list of the current elections schedule and plans...

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This post from Peace Research Institute Frankfurt discusses why it is crucial to monitor how restrictions are implemented to...

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Access Now’s recommendations focus on three categories of measures seen around the world: collection and use of health data,...

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This New York Times article looks at leaders around the world who have passed emergency decrees and legislation expanding...

A close up picture of the coronavirus (Photo: CDC/Unsplash)

The United States is in the midst of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. All 50 states, as well as the...

An Alaska pipeline (Photo: Jim Black/Pixabay)

Across the country, communities are gathering at rallies and marches to express concerns about pipelines’ impact on the environment,...

ECNL ICNL Keeping Civic Space Healthy Graphic

The COVID-19 response is currently an all-consuming effort for governments and people in countries around the world. In this...

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In this piece for the Center for Global Development, ICNL Alliance Advisory Council Member Michael Pisa discusses how the...

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Amnesty International’s preliminary observation report examines the human rights concerns and challenges that often emerge in epidemic responses, with...

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In an article for Just Security, ICNL President Douglas Rutzen and Legal Advisor Nikhil Dutta discuss government overreach during...

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ECNL Senior Legal Advisor Marta Achler's piece discusses why the internet and the online spaces are a 'lifeline' for...

Coronavirus and Civic Space cover graphic - title overlayed a purple and grey triangle pattern

The coronavirus is a significant threat to public health; it does not need to be a significant threat to...

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Mr. Earl Miller, Mr. Anisul Huq, Minister, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, and DFID Senior Governance Adviser Ms. Aislin Baker were special guests at the Building Bridges between Civil Society and Government launch event in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo: CPI)

The legal environment for civil society organizations in Bangladesh is complex. After conducting a needs assessment, ICNL found that...

Hands holding flowers. (Photo: GLady/Pixabay)

This briefing explores key trends in philanthropy and their possible impact on civic space. It is one in a...

Colorful code on computer monitors (Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

This briefing explores the trends in emerging digital technology most likely to shape civic space, and opportunities for civil...

Person holding climate change sign with Extinction Rebellion symbol. (Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

This briefing explores how states’ responses to the climate crisis over the next two decades will affect civic space...

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This briefing paper addresses the proliferation of new institutions and the “soft” law standards they produce, with particular emphasis...

Man working in an electronic repair shop in Cambodia (Photo credit: Ethan Crowley)

In this issue of the Civic Freedom Digest, ICNL highlights some of the key challenges and opportunities for civic...

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This manual lays out the laws and procedures required for an organization to obtain legal status, serving as a...

Participants from ICNL's February 2020 three-day consultative meeting in Banjul-The Gambia on the country’s new NGO bill. (Photo: ICNL)

From February 4 - 6, 2020, ICNL's Sub-Saharan Africa team facilitated a three-day consultative meeting in Banjul-The Gambia to...

People in a meeting - right to association

This report provides a detailed overview of the legal framework for association in Central Asia, focusing on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,...

2019 AR - Nepal

In 2018, the Government of Nepal presented a draft National Integrity Policy. The policy, if adopted, would have restricted...

Clement Voule, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association speaking with civil society and the private sector at RightsCon 2019 about strategic ideas on implementing the report recommendations to protect these fundamental freedoms (photo credit: ICNL)

Cybercrime laws, internet shutdowns, and social media taxes are a few tactics governments use to restrict fundamental freedoms online.

December 19, 20192018-2019 Annual Report

ICNL 2018-2019 Annual Report cover photo - mother and son paint a vibrant mural. (Photo: Caiaimage/Trevor Adeiline)

Our 2018-2019 annual report aims to highlight the progress civil society is making to counter restrictions and expand civic...

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To enhance the understanding of the legal framework governing the life-cycle of associations, ICNL prepared these Operational Guidelines for...

December 10, 2019India Philanthropy Law

Taj Mahal (Photo Credit: Gerard McGovern)

Indian culture places great emphasis on Daana (giving). The ancient philosophy of Nishkama Karma – “do good without the...