Tag - 2016 ( 1 )

Report | 2016: The year in assembly & association rights

Feb 09 2017

By nearly any standard and in virtually every corner of the globe, 2016 was one of the most tumultuous years the world has seen since the end of the Cold War. Headline after headline brought us news of political upheaval, war, terrorism, health crises, endemic corruption, environmental disaster, economic turmoil and more. The pace and magnitude of the change and adversity was, at times - to use Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year - “surreal.” But there was another side to this story, one with a much more hopeful tone: Despite its myriad troubles, 2016 was also a year where people came out in nearly unprecedented numbers in an attempt to address our problems - through organizing in their communities, through protest, through political engagement, through labor unions and more. It was, in other words, a year where assembly and association rights took center stage as a tool for fixing what appeared to be a crumbling world order. And the fact that people exercised these rights in such large numbers was no small feat. The long-lamented phenomenon of “closing space” for civic engagement is certainly real, and it spread dramatically in 2016. A recent report from CIVICUS found that roughly 85% of the world’s population lives in countries where the rights to expression, assembly or... Continue reading →