Over the last decade, a mounting backlash from governments, the private sector and multilateral agencies has been shrinking the space in which civil society operates. CIVICUS’s Civil Society Watch project has been monitoring and taking action on these threats over the last eight years, but as the number of threats grows, so does the need for monitoring and action.
With the launch of Civil Society Watch (CSW) Online in August 2010, CSOs and concerned citizens around the world can now help identify and share threats to civil society in their national, regional or local context and join the fight to protect the space for civil society around the world. It also provides vital information for journalists, politicians, human rights bodies, researchers and the general public about threats to civil society.
A key benefit of the platform is providing a space for civil society actors to learn from one another and link up with peer organizations. By building these connections, the platform not only improves the monitoring of threats but also helps engage more stakeholders in taking action.
Free and easy to use, CSW Online allows users to view articles on civil society, post and discuss threats, seek advice, upload photos and videos or propose collective action. In addition, it includes a world map that can be clicked to see threats in each country and is accessible for low-bandwidth users.
Language support for all six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) is built into the platform. However, the user interface is still not fully translated for all languages and we call on anyone interested in volunteering to assist with translation to email firstname.lastname@example.org.