4 April 2017 – Of the 195 rated, only in 26 countries the rights to protest, organise and speak out are respected, protected and fulfilled, according to the CIVICUS Monitor, which today releases the first-ever global dataset on civic space.

The CIVICUS Monitor rates countries based on how well they uphold the three fundamental civic freedoms that enable people to act collectively and make change: freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression.

Most of the countries rated as open (21 of the 26) are from Europe: Andorra, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland. According to the findings, only in these countries the state safeguards space for civil society and provides platforms for dialogue.

By contrast, in 20 countries out of the 195 – Bahrain, Burundi, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam – the civic space is closed, a rating characterised by an atmosphere of fear and violence, and severe punishment for those who dare to disagree with authorities.

A further 35 countries are rated repressed. Fifty-one countries are rated obstructed and 63 narrowed.

Click here for responsive visualisations of all of the findings: https://monitor.civicus.org/findings

In order to highlight countries of immediate concern, CIVICUS is also today launching a new Watch List. This advocacy tool highlights up to five countries on the CIVICUS Monitor where there is a serious and rapid decline in civic space. Countries on this at launch it are: Cameroon, Macedonia, Myanmar, the USA and Turkey.

With the first ever global dataset on civic space, the CIVICUS Monitor is able to show that, on average, countries with more open civic space scale have higher Human Development Index scores, better Gini Index scores and better scores on the Electoral Democracy Index.

CIVICUS Monitor ratings and daily updates are based on a combination of inputs from local civil society activists, regional civil society experts and research partners, existing assessments by national and international civil society organisations, user-generated input and media-monitoring. The CIVICUS Monitor now provides ratings for all UN Member States and regular updates from a network of twenty research partners around the world.

ENNA is the research partner responsible for feeding the Monitor by delivering updates on the state at play in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom.

For more information about ENNA’s work, you can contact us at secretariat[@]ennaeurope[.]org.