Civil society organisations are increasingly suffering from restrictions and repression. Digitalisation makes it even easier for autocrats to censor opinions, to spy on and to repress people. Internet shut-downs have become a widespread tool to block people’s right to information. But digital tools also brought and bring opportunities for activists and CSOs: with the help of modern communication channels, they can inform, mobilise and network more directly and successfully. Digitalisation is still an important building block for sustainable development; provided that barriers to access are removed and human rights are respected.
In its fourth edition, the “Civil Society Atlas“, published by Brot für die Welt together with CIVICUS, analyses both opportunities and challenges that increased digitalisation poses to civil society and civic space. This is illustrated in four case studies, in Mexico, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Ukraine.
The report concludes with key demands addressed to policymakers, including the EU and its Member States. Promoting access to internet for all and ensuring better export regulation for surveillance technologies and preservation of data protection are just a few examples of actions governments and parliamentarians must commit to in order to ensure respect of human rights and enable an independent civil society – also in the digital space. .
Read the full report here