Creating Knowledge

ICNL enhances knowledge about legal issues affecting civil society with a diverse array of research projects, meetings, and monitoring efforts. We publish reports on regional trends, such as The Law Affecting Civil Society in Asia, as well as country-specific reports, such as our paper on civil society and the media in Nepal. We also convene roundtable discussions with civil society partners, such as our workshops in India on the challenges to reforming laws affecting civil society. Finally, we monitor developments in civil society through our Civic Freedom Monitor and, in Cambodia, the Fundamental Freedoms Monitoring program.

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


Laws Affecting Civil Society in Asia

The Law Affecting Civil Society in Asia, published in 2016 and revised in late 2019, provides an overview of the regulatory environment for civil society throughout Asia. Focusing on a number of countries, the report covers key themes such as registration, termination, state supervision, legal treatment of foreign organizations, and rules related to funding sources, including cross-border philanthropy and economic activities.

The Legal Environment for Civil Society in India

Two commissioned papers analyze the regulation of nonprofit organizations in India and the ways in which that regulation compares to the regulation of for-profit enterprises. The papers were prepared in conjunction with ICNL’s roundtables in Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai in December 2018, where participants provided comments on the reports’findings.

Civil Society & Media in Nepal

Fears are growing that the legal environment for civil society and media in Nepal is becoming more restrictive. Our assessment outlines recommendations for reforms to strengthen and protect civic space.

Cambodia Fundamental Freedom Monitoring Project

This report outlines recent findings on the status of freedoms of association, assembly, and expression in both law and practice in Cambodia. Read an impact story about this project here.

Civic Freedom Monitor

The Civic Freedom Monitor provides current information on civil society law in 54 countries and 8 multilateral organizations around the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ICNL has also published an issue of our Civic Freedom Digest that looks at trends across the Asia-Pacific region.