Since 2016, 91 countries have proposed or enacted more than 260 legal measures affecting civil society. Of these measures, 72% have been restrictive. The trend is truly global and includes laws and regulatory measures that impede the formation of civil society organizations, their ability to seek and secure resources, and the freedom to peacefully assemble. In some countries, governments and non-state actors, often acting with impunity, have further undermined civic space with stigmatizing rhetoric, threats, harassment, and attacks against civil society and its representatives. These constraints have been exacerbated by government responses to the COVID pandemic.
The Civic Space Initiative (CSI) was created to address this troubling trend. It works to ensure that people can come together, act collectively on issues that matter, engage with their governments, and ultimately improve their lives.