NGO

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Balázs Tóth is head of the Law Enforcement Program at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a public benefit human rights organisation that provides legal help to refugees, detainees and victims of law enforcement violence. Kristóf Szombati met with Balázs, who has been working for the organisation since 2004, to discuss the challenges faced by civil society organisations in Hungary.

Macedonian police forces during a demonstration in Skopje
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The hostile environment created by the government makes the work of civil society actors practically impossible. To be a human rights activist in Macedonia is to be a person that is constantly threatened, attacked, and demonized.

The Ban of Nucelar weapons is coming
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On Thursday the 27th of October, United Nations adopted a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.

A man with a banner protests against new dams at the Wolrd Social Forum 2004 in Bombay, India
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India likes to consider itself the “world’s largest democracy”. In practice, however, there are many restrictions on the freedom of expression. The space available to civil society organizations for action is increasingly restricted.

Civic Charter

Repression of civil society is on the rise all over the world. The charter aims to support civil society organizations as activists throughout the world, to advocate for their rights and freedom of action, and to demand government guarantees.

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Russian NGOs are under pressure: They are hindered in their work with laws and checks by the authorities, paralyzed and driven to close down. External support is not only helpful, but vital.

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The repression of civil societies activites in countries like Egypt and Russia are justified with the "protection of the states sovereignity" and the "principle of non-intervention". When unwelcomed critique is silenced, activists need all our solidarity and support.

Protests in Egypt, photo taken on October 21, 2010
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The civil society in Egypt is facing a disastrous suppression and realignment by the government. By returning to normal foreign policy operations this weakening condition for civil society could be even strengthened.

Street Art
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State repression against non-governmental organizations is increasing globally. In this interview, Barbara Unmüßig calls for a reconceptualisation of solidarity with civil society and puts the issue of shrinking and closing spaces at the very top of the political agenda.

Greenpeace protesters against nuclear energy
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Around the world, autocratic regimes, and some that consider themselves democratic, are restricting the work of civil society groups that hold them to account.

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