2014 News Archive

23 December, 2014: ICNL’s 2013-2014 Annual Report: Progress Within Reach
ICNL is pleased to announce the release of our 2013-2014 annual report, “Progress Within Reach.”

18 November, 2014: FINAL COMMUNIQUÉ: African Regional Workshop on Protecting Civic Space
African civil society representatives from 14 countries and a wide variety of organizations gathered with international civil society partners and representatives of donor agencies for a two-day workshop to address increasing concerns about shrinking civic space in Africa.

6 November, 2014: Latin American Activists and UN Expert Work Together to Advance CSO Rights
Civil society leaders from across the Americas face an array of challenges in exercising their rights to freedom of association and assembly. Last week, these leaders met with UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai and Lilly Ching-Soto of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to explore opportunities for collaboration in advancing these rights. [Español]

30 October, 2014: Expanding the Legal Enabling Environment Program
ICNL is pleased to announce an expansion of the Global Civil Society Legal Enabling Environment Program (LEEP). In September, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) expanded the scope of LEEP to include - along with the freedoms of association and assembly - the freedoms of expression, information and other human rights essential to the vibrant functioning of civil society.

23 October, 2014: Call for Applications: African Education Initiative
To support the study of civil society law at universities and schools of law in sub-Saharan Africa, ICNL is pleased to announce an African Education Initiative (AEI).

16 October, 2014: Peaceful Assembly in Burundi: Interview with Human Rights Defender Audace Gatavu
Audace Gatavu, a lawyer, civil society activist, and human rights defender from Burundi was one of three fellows in Washington this summer. At the end of his fellowship, we sat down with him to discuss his research on peaceful assembly, his lessons learned, and his recommendations for progressive reform in Burundi.

23 September, 2014: Obama: Expanded Multilateral Effort Will Support Civil Society
Today at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, President Obama announced a renewed and redoubled effort to promote and protect space for civil society, including an expansion of support to ICNL.

12 September, 2014: Let Civil Society Receive Foreign Funds, Says Economist
Since January 2012, ICNL has tracked at least twenty countries that have proposed or enacted laws restricting the ability of civil society organizations to receive funding from international sources.  This week’s Economist argues that this troubling global crackdown is aimed at weakening civil society and that democratic countries must “help stem the illiberal tide.”

3 September, 2014: Brazil Forges New Partnership with Civil Society Organizations
As the government of Brazil seeks to overcome complex social and economic challenges, it is looking towards civil society organizations (CSOs) as valuable partners.

20 August, 2014: Mapping Initiatives to Address Legal Constraints on Foreign Funding
ICNL prepared a briefing paper that seeks to (1) provide an overview of existing responses to the issue of foreign funding restrictions; and (2) make clear recommendations for how private donors can most effectively respond to the trend of increasing restrictions on access to foreign funding for CSOs.

5 August, 2014: New Report Examines Tools to Measure Environment for Civil Society
In the latest issue of Global Trends in NGO Law, ICNL examines eight assessment tools that seek to measure civil society’s enabling environment.

1 August, 2014: ICNL Recognized for Innovation and Impact
ICNL is honored to be recognized by The NonProfit Times (NPT) in the 2014 Power & Influence Top 50. The list celebrates the US nonprofit sector’s “top executives and strategists.”

25 July, 2014: Egypt’s Draft NGO Law Violates International, National Law
The newest draft NGO law issued in late June by Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity would severely restrict civil society. The draft law introduces a number of constraints on the formation and operation of NGOs, in violation of Egypt’s constitution and international obligations.

13 June, 2014: UN HRC must strengthen protections for civil society
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) must act to address the shrinking space for civil society across the globe, urged member organisations of the Civic Space Initiative* (CSI) at a side event in Geneva on 12 June.

5 June, 2014: President of Brazil Affirms Support for Enabling Legal Reforms for CSOs
In a May 23, 2014 speech during the II International Seminar of the Legal Framework for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Brasilia, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff affirmed her support for a draft law that aims to facilitate CSO-state sector relations.

28 May, 2014: New Document Outlines General Principles Governing Civil Society’s Right to Resources
A new resource created by UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai and the Community of Democracies seeks to strengthen global understanding of civil society’s right to access resources.

13 May, 2014: Rights to Assembly and Association for “Most at Risk” Groups Must be Protected, UN Expert Says
In June, United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will present his third thematic report to the Human Rights Council at its 26th Session. In advance of his presentation, the United Nations has publicly released his report.

17 April, 2014: At Global Meeting on Aid Effectiveness, Enabling Environment for Civil Society Recognized
At the first high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), civil society was recognized for its crucial contribution to development.

16 April, 2014: ICNL and ECNL Announce TEDxLiberdade: The Power of Together
ICNL and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) are pleased to announce TEDxLiberdade: The Power of Together on April 23, 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil.

9 April, 2014: Governments are Displaying Signs of “Agoraphobia,” ICNL Says in Foreign Policy
In Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab, ICNL’s Douglas Rutzen and Brittany Grabel write that governments around the world are increasingly displaying signs of “agoraphobia,” or “fear of the square.”

12 March, 2014: Protecting Space for Civil Society in the Spotlight at 25th UN Human Rights Council
Reflecting growing global recognition of the need to protect the legal and physical space for civil society, this week the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva included two major events dedicated to the topic.

10 February, 2014: Cambodia's blanket ban on public gatherings contradicts international law, UN Special Rapporteur says
Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (UNSR), traveled to Cambodia last week on a three-day academic visit.

29 January, 2014: UN Special Rapporteur Urges Rwanda to Lift Restrictions on Peaceful Assembly and Association
As he concluded his official visit to Rwanda, the UN Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai urged the government of Rwanda to lift restrictions on peaceful assembly and association.

22 January, 2014: Ukraine Amendments Highly Restrict Civil Society
On January 16, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted a massive package of legislative changes affecting Ukrainian civil society and democracy.

15 January, 2014: Nigerian Ban on Homosexual Associations Threatens Freedoms of Assembly and of Association
Sweeping legislation signed into law in Nigeria last week threatens the rights to freedom of assembly and of association for LGBT individuals.