Much of civic life is about promoting inclusion. It is about amplifying the voices of the marginalized, tackling the causes of discrimination and promoting equal rights and access to services. But, for many millions of people, exclusion remains a painful, everyday reality.
One of the reasons is that, in many places, the working conditions for non-governmental organizations, charities and active citizens are rapidly worsening. In the State of Civil Society Report 2016, CIVICUS provides a comprehensive review of the trends and threats facing the sector. In particular, the report finds that, in 109 countries, civil society is being inhibited by serious violations of the core civic freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly. This means that citizens face serious restrictions on speaking out, organizing and taking action on issues affecting their communities.
Such restrictions threaten the vital role civil society plays in working towards all citizens being able to access their rights and advocate on issues that affect them. Civil society organizations and activists face restrictions most strongly when they work to question the power of political and economic elites, expose corruption and poor governance, and realize the human rights of excluded populations.
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