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The 25th UN Human Rights Council session, 3-28 March 2014, marked the first-ever formal panel discussion at the UNHRC on the promotion and protection of civil society space. During the 25th session, CIVICUS made a number of interventions to highlight emerging trends in civil society restrictions and recommend key steps that States and the UN must take to protect the spaces in which civil society operate. Through these interventions, including parallel side events and written and oral statements, CIVICUS also provided a platform to its partners and members to input into UNHRC processes on creating a safe and enabling environment for civil society.

CIVICUS co-organized a number of panel discussions to analyze growing legislative and extra-legal restrictions on civil society across the globe. The events, paneled by representatives from international and national civil society and several United Nations Special Rapporteurs, provided a unique opportunity to share first-hand information from civil society experts on limitations on international human rights norms governing freedom of assembly, association and expression and substantive recommendations to ensure greater protection of civil society groups.

During the UNHRC Session, CIVICUS and its partner organizations made several country-specific oral interventions to raise awareness about restrictions on civil society and reprisals against civil society activists. CIVICUS further issued a number of oral and written statements calling on the international community and national governments to take immediate steps to further articulate and codify the creation of a free and enabling environment for civil society.

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