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. The pace and magnitude of the change and adversity was, at times – to use Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year – “surreal.” 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 association have faced serious challenges. There is no doubt that civic space has closed dramatically in recent years, with 2016 being no exception. But the real takeaway from 2016 is that people’s desire for that space will never be extinguished. More information is available here, while the full annual report by the UN Special Rapporteur is available for download here.
Source: UN Special Rapporteur