Defending Civic Space

In this programme we seek to advance the freedoms of association, assembly and expression, with a particular focus on environments where public engagement in civic life is limited by state and non-state actors. Some of our grantees undertake advocacy and litigation, whilst others provide training, protection and support for human rights defenders and journalists at risk.

Human rights defenders are increasingly at risk in many countries of the world. Even some formally democratic countries have introduced laws restricting foreign funding and other measures aimed at undermining the role of civil society. In many countries, there is a new level of uncertainty, and often underlying threats of violence or arrest. Some of our grantees, working in difficult environments, have asked us not to publicise their work for security reasons. The Trust supports four additional grantees in this programme whose details cannot be shared on this website.