Most states around the world, including most authoritarian regimes, tolerate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) involved in noncontroversial, de-politicized humanitarian work because they provide social services that the state does not or because battling them would incur greater political expense than allowing them to work at the margins. However, it is also clear that organizations with a political mandate or those that raise difficult policy issues face intense pressure in many countries. In these states, authorities seek legal frameworks which could prevent CSOs from experssing their opinions, questioning official policies, or mobilising on the streets.
Internationally, CSO's are also speaking out against marginalization and unfair legal pratices. In the lead-up to the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly
this week, CSOs are arguing that even though many organizations and activitsts are regularly invited to voice their concerns, they nonetheless stand little chance of influencing the real agenda
because the inter-governmental system is almost entirely state-driven.
In this video, Ryota Jonen of the Civic Space Initiative, outlines six broad categories of legal constraints
that CSOs face worldwide:
Civil Society Under Threat