Advancing Legal Reform

ICNL seeks to advance enabling legal reform to ensure that individuals and groups have a safe space in which to pursue their missions effectively. We have worked with local partners in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere to expand and protect civic space. When legal threats emerge that could constrain the operating environment for civil society, ICNL cooperates with local partners to strengthen their efforts to advocate against restrictive measures and engage in informed dialogue with legislators and policymakers.

Participants reading over a poster at a July, 2016 workshop in Myanmar on the implementation of the Association Registration Law, convened by the CSO Working Group and the Ministry of Home Affairs, with the support of USAID and FHI 360.
Participants at a July 2016 workshop in Myanmar on implementing the Association Registration Law. The workshop was convened by the CSO Working Group and Ministry of Home Affairs with support from USAID and FHI 360.



Following a series of consultations supported by ICNL and led by our civil society partner in Pakistan, the government adopted its first-ever policy on human rights defenders in December 2018. Our follow-up efforts focus on promoting the policy and supporting the development of legislation at the provincial level.


ICNL is helping local partners in Nepal reshape a restrictive draft law on civil society organizations. ICNL has completed a legal analysis of the draft law and now is supporting our partners to ensure that subsequent drafts conform more closely to international standards related to freedom of association. Read an impact story on this work here.

Sri Lanka

ICNL supported the successful efforts of local partners in Sri Lanka to push back against restrictive amendments to the Voluntary Social Service Organizations Act and prepare more enabling draft amendments to the act. Read an impact story on this work here.