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.”

The Economist quotes ICNL’s President Douglas Rutzen, who says that this rise in “philanthropic protectionism” should be seen in a broader context of shrinking legal space for civil society.

ICNL has worked with partners in over one hundred countries to help advance an enabling legal environment for civil society and is pleased that The Economist focused on restrictions impeding global philanthropy and civil society.  We are also pleased that the reports reference the important work of the UN Special Rapporteur on association and assembly and the Community of Democracies – key ICNL partners in stemming the tide of restrictions. For more information on initiatives to address legal constraints on foreign funding, please see ICNL’s mapping study.

The two Economist articles are available at the links below.
Donors: Keep Out
Uncivil Societies