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15 November 2016

Civic Charter: Defending the Space for People’s Participation

In order to secure the space for civic participation, all those who value civil rights need to join forces. Activists and CSOs already fight for their space every day within their respective countries and communities, but the cause is strengthened when they stand together internationally. This is why in November 2015, at a meeting in Bangkok, a number of CSOs decided to work together to launch the Civic Charter, "a document developed by civil society for civil society".

The development of the Civic Charter has been coordinated by the International Civil Society Centre and a steering group consisting of colleagues from CIVICUS, ICNL, ActionAid, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Rendir Cuentas, VANI, The Africa Platform, The Oak Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. Front Line Defenders is also among the signatories.

About the Civic Charter

The Civic Charter provides a global framework for people’s participation in shaping their societies. The two-page document, which people and organisations can sign on to and use as a basis for joint action, articulates a common set of civic and political rights. Based on universally accepted human rights, freedoms and principles, the Civic Charter serves as a reference point for people claiming their rights. It can be used as a tool for awareness-raising, advocacy and campaigning.

Aimed at civil society activists and their organisations, the Civic Charter connects those engaged in the everyday struggle for civic space – on a local, national, regional or international level. Firstly, it draws together the most crucial terms for civic participation in an easily understandable way. Secondly, it serves as a global reference framework to civil society actors for their rights enshrined in international law. Thirdly, it reaffirms people’s rights to participate in shaping their societies. The Civic Charter will provide a more effective basis for campaigning and advocacy for civic participation, as well as for promoting international solidarity with CSOs and activists in a specific country or region.

Download the Civic Charter brochure