Invitation to the International conference at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, 1 June 2017
Despite positive developments and stronger movements toward democracy in many countries, the opposite tendency is also evident on a global scale. Civil societies are under threat from actions taken not only by authoritarian but also by democratic governments.
“Before I knew what that ? ‘shrinking space’ was supposed to mean, our organization was affected“, says Henri Tiphagne, Director of People’s Watch in India. Many different types of action are restricting civil society. These include legally enacted legislation or administrative regulations that affect women’s rights groups, foundations, human rights organizations, and land rights and environmental protection work. They also include relatively new laws designed to protect national values or identities, which are used to criminalize vaguely defined unpopular political action. NGOs are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the registration requirements in many countries. New laws also make it harder to receive funding from abroad.
Organizations for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) have long faced registration challenges, especially in countries that criminalize homosexual acts.