Firearms pose an urgent threat to the exercise of First Amendment rights of free expression and peaceful assembly in the United States. Armed individuals at protests can discourage people from voicing their beliefs and petitioning the government for change. ICNL works with US partners to strengthen people’s right to assemble peacefully, unimpeded by the presence of guns
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Until recently, Nigerian civil society organizations (CSOs) were grouped with casinos, real estate agents, and gemstone dealers as institutions highly vulnerable to infusions of “dirty money” and funds intended for terrorists. But this changed in May 2022, when the Nigerian president signed two new laws removing CSOs from the high-risk category. The reform resulted from six years of skillful advocacy by Nigerian organizations, with technical support from ECNL, ICNL, and our partner HSC.
Nearly every country’s constitution recognizes the right to peaceful assembly. But since 2020, more than 150 governments have restricted this right while responding to COVID-19. ICNL works alongside partners to create a more enabling environment for peaceful assembly by promoting international norms, improving legal frameworks, and monitoring violations of assembly rights at protests.
Women civil society advocates have long struggled against gender-specific barriers to their work. This story explores how ICNL and our partners have worked to advance women’s rights from the ground up.
In 2022, El Salvador proposed a restrictive new law that threatened to decimate civil society. The draft law would require civil society organizations (CSOs) to register as foreign agents if they received funding and philanthropic giving from abroad, criminalize many of their normal activities, and impose a 40 percent tax on their financial transactions. Aware that a similar law in a neighboring country had shut down hundreds of organizations, Salvadoran CSOs concluded the region’s civil societies needed to come together and organize a joint defense.
With support from the Ford Foundation, ICNL launched a project from February 2020 through October 2022 to address FATF and AML/CFT issues related to nonprofit operations in three countries: Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon.
ICNL is working with a broad coalition of civil liberties, racial justice, environmental, and other groups to address anti-protest measures in the United States.
COVID hit Kyrgyzstan hard, overwhelming an already fragile healthcare system. In the face of these challenges, Elim Barsynby, a charitable foundation in Bishkek, assembled a large-scale volunteer movement to support the local community. With ICNL’s assistance, the organization was able to streamline its ability to receive aid by working through the medical supply distribution process and the bottlenecks of import and customs documentation.
ICNL partnered with the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI), a civil society organization promoting transparent management of oil and gas resources, in drafting a model public consultations law.
In early 2020, as COVID began to spread globally, ICNL recognized the repercussions of states’ emergency responses on fundamental freedoms and civil society. To address this, ICNL partnered with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to convene a high-level meeting in May 2021 on protecting civic space and ending unnecessary emergency measures.