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 some 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.
The human rights situation in Togo has been deteriorating rapidly since the eruption of pro-democracy protests in August 2017 across Togo, in neighbouring countries, Europe and the USA by the Togolese diaspora. This has resulted in human rights defenders promoting democracy and organising peaceful protests being targeted with arrest, detention and trumped-up charges.