In Togo, human rights defenders are formally allowed to carry out their activities, promoting and advocating for human rights. They are involved in human rights education campaigns and engage the media on a regular basis. They also offer various types of support to victims of human rights violations such as legal aid and psycho-social assistance. Freedom of association is guaranteed under article 30 of the constitution, and human rights defenders are allowed to form and operate through formal organisations. These organisations are allowed to freely solicit funding for their programs from international organisations as well as from diplomatic missions with a presence in the country. Since 2012, collaboration between civil society actors and government institutions has substantially improved as a result of the existence of formal channels through which civil society actors can engage the government and particularly due to the initiative to have civil society actors represented in the committees in charge of the implementation of various sectoral government policies.
Despite all these positive developments, there are still a number of obstacles undermining the ability of human rights defenders in Togo to carry out their legitimate work without fear for their safety. Human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists organising protests as a way of advocating for human rights have often been the subject of police brutality. Interference with the work of journalists, particularly those raising human rights issues, is rampant. Self-censorship remains pervasive; and many are human rights defenders who have had to go into hiding or flee the country fearing retaliation for human rights criticism.