CIVICUS' United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Submissions on Civil Society Space

CIVICUS and its partners have submitted joint and stand-alone UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submissions on 4 countries in advance of the 39th UPR session in October 2021. The submissions examine the state of civil society in each country, including the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression and the environment for human rights defenders. We further provide an assessment of the States’ domestic implementation of civic space recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle over 4 years ago and provide a number of targeted follow-up recommendations.

Countries Examined: Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Thailand

Hungary: This submission explores how since 2010 there has been a steady erosion of respect for well-established democratic principles as enshrined in Hungary’s laws, the laws of the European Union (EU) and international human rights treaties to which Hungary is a state party. We examine how increased legal and extra-legal restrictions on the freedom of association, the systematic targeting of LGBTQI+ associations and activities, and the waning respect for the freedom of expression and media freedoms.

Tanzania: The submission by CVICUS and Defend Defenders highlights concerns about Tanzania’s persistent onslaught on media freedom, and the freedom of expression in general, which has been evidenced through the enactment and enforcement of stifling laws and regulations to silence critical opinions, including those of citizens, journalists, bloggers and opposition parties. It also outlines serious concerns related to the targeting and repression of HRDs and CSOs in their work through stifling laws and practices, and judicial harassment in the form of spurious cases and flawed court processes.  

Thailand: This submission by CIVICUS and Asia Democracy Network (ADN) highlights the ongoing use of criminal defamation, lèse majesté and other repressive laws against HRDs, civil society activists and journalists as well as harassment, physical attacks and allegations of enforced disappearances of activists.  It also documents the crackdown on peaceful protests, the arrests and criminalisation of protesters and use of excessive force by the police.

Papua New Guinea: This submission by CIVICUS, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO) and Transparency International PNG highlights harassment and threats against HRDs, particularly those working on land and environmental rights. It also shows the intimidation and threats against journalists we well as attempts to silence critical media outlets.