People’s rights to organise, speak out and take action are being extensively violated in a large number of countries in the Americas. This is according to new research by global civil society alliance CIVICUS, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), the Charity and Security Network, the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (REDLAD) and the Rendir Cuentas initiative. Our findings are based on data from the CIVICUS Monitor, a new research collaboration to track and compare civic freedoms on a global scale.
Although the space for civil society (or “civic space”) in the Americas is more open than in some other regions of the world, it is still seriously restricted in more than a third of the countries in the region. The CIVICUS Monitor describes the level of respect for civic space through a spectrum of country ratings: open, narrowed, obstructed, repressed and closed. Ratings for the Americas show that civic space is narrowed in 21 of 35 countries, obstructed in nine and repressed in three. In population terms, more than half of people in the Americas live in countries with either obstructed (32%) or repressed (21%) civic space. A further 45% lives in countries where civic space is rated as narrowed. The Americas is home to one country in the closed category and one country in the open category.