CIVICUS Monitor shows twice as many people live in repressed countries compared to last year & calls on companies to uphold freedoms

Author: CIVICUS, Published on: 10 December 2019

"People power under attack", 4 Dec 2019

Civic space – space for civil society – is the bedrock and democratic society. When [it] is open, citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs) are able to organise, participate and communicate... Following an update of our ratings in November 2019, the CIVICUS Monitor continues to tell a worrying story. The data shows that there are 24 countries with closed civic space, 38 countries with repressed space and 49 with obstructed space... Nine countries have changed their civic space rating since our November 2018 update: two have improved their ratings, while seven have worsened. This indicates that repression of peaceful civic activism continues to be a widespread crisis for civil society in most parts of the world... [States should]: Explicitly recognise and reaffirm the work and legitimacy of human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists... [and] Ensure that the freedom of expression is safeguarded in all forms... Businesses must also not capitulate to censorship demands that are not in accordance with international human rights standards... The CIVICUS Monitor has downgraded Australia’s civic space from open to narrowed... The government has passed new legislation...that would allow law enforcement authorities to force tech companies to hand over user information, even if it is protected by end-to-end encryption... 

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