In the last two years, hundreds of human rights and environmental defenders globally have been killed ─ over 300 reportedly murdered in 2021 and 401 in 2022. Sadly, many more are going unreported.
These murders are the tip of the iceberg of a massive rollback of civic rights and freedoms around the world. Governments of almost every country are increasing restrictions on free speech and the right to protest – normalising the idea that people who speak out suffer the consequences.
It is urgent that this global attack on civic space is stopped. A free society and open civic space is essential to fight authoritarianism and to hold those in power to account. In March 2023, many governments pledged support for civic space and human rights defenders at the second Summit for Democracy. This must urgently turn into action.
From voting rights to labor rights, from #BlackLivesMatter to #MeToo, from ending apartheid to the Fridays for Future mobilizations — social change has been brought about by individuals speaking out and people coming together to assert their rights.
Now, in the face of the climate crisis and growing inequality, civic space is more important than ever to defend a fair and just world for all. Sign the petition urging governments to reverse the rollback and announce specific measures to support civic space and human rights defenders at the Global Citizen Stage this September.