CIVICUS, CPDE, and Forus International organise forum on human rights and civic space in digital era

Global civil society platforms CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), and Forus International are joining forces to organise a forum titled Under Pressure: Human rights and civic space in the digital era this 21 September, 4 to 5:30PM GMT. The session is part of a series of events for the Global People’s Assembly, held in time for the United Nations General Assembly.

The activity draws from the civic space situation in many countries around the world, where repressive laws and policies restrict fundamental freedoms of expression, participation, assembly, and association. Despite their vital role in the social and democratic fabric of their countries, civil society networks activists and human rights defenders face intimidation and attacks, both online and offline.

The panel will expound on the said situation, with a specific focus on the digital context. Speakers will discuss how new technologies have helped civil society to grow, activists to mobilise and grassroots movements to unite, and how the attendant risks and opportunities in this domain can be addressed.

Mandeep Tiwana, CIVICUS Chief Programmes Officer, will speak on current global trends relating to civic space and human rights. Biljana Spasovska, CPDE Regional Coordinator for Europe and Executive Director of the Balkan Civil Society Network for Development, will provide an overview of civic space and human rights from the Balkans, as well as how civil society around the world can respond to threats to civic space and human rights.

These will be followed by a segment on The challenge of creating an enabling digital environment for civil society globally, and Innovative global civil society campaigns on civic space and human rights, to be led by Forus’ Deirdre de Burca, Campaigns Coordinator and Bibbi Abruzzi, Communications Officer, respectively.

Finally, an open forum with the participants will revolve around these key questions:

  • What can governments/ civil society/the private sector do to better defend and promote civic space and human rights globally?
  • How can these actors ensure that digitalization does not reduce but rather expands civic space online?

The event will be available in English, Spanish, and French.

To register for the events, visit this link.#

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