CIVICUS Voices is a podcast that brings you voices of people, communities, and organisations defending civil liberties and human rights.

Hosted by Aarti Narsee, the second season of the podcast is focused on the right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly (aka protesting). In this 6-part series, we will be joined by civil society experts and on-the-ground activists to tell us about their experiences with protesting. Check out season 1 of the podcast here

All Episodes

1. Protesting 101

We kick off the second season by discussing the basics of protesting: Protesting 101. What is protesting? How do we do it? Why should we mobilise?

In this episode, Luciana, Busisiwe and Abigail will be answering our questions.

2. Protests & Repression: How does it work?

The authorities and governments of closed or repressed countries do everything in their power to curtail the right of its citizens to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly. So how do people living in these repressed spaces go about mobilising and protesting? In this episode, we speak to Nadim Nashif, the founder and executive director of 7amleh, and Sandra Sierra, a protest organiser from Colombia.


3. Young people: Loud & relentless

There are over one billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 worldwide, but their voices are often left out in policy spaces and in decision-making. Youth-led movements are an important part of civil society, and key in motivating for change that will affect generations to come. In this episode, we speak to Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, who is involved with HIVE Pakistan, and Wits Fees Must Fall leader Busisiwe Catherine Seabe from South Africa.

4. Reproductive rights: Struggle, resistance & victory

The fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights is being waged in countries around the world, as people seek to access legal and affordable reproductive health care services, like contraception, sex education, safe pregnancies, and abortions. In this episode, we speak to Justyna Wydrzyńska, from the Polish group Aborcyjny Dream Team (ADT). Justyna is the first pro-choice activist in Europe to have been charged with aiding someone in an abortion.

5. Resisting coup d’état: Determination & hope are key

When there has been a coup d’état in a country, the protests surrounding this regime-change are often critical but difficult.In this episode, we look at how this works, through the example of Myanmar, where the military junta took over control from the democratically elected ruling party in 2021. Thinzar Shunlei Yi, the advocacy coordinator at the Action Committee for Democracy Development speaks about the role of protests in the country, before Wai Hnin Pwint Thon from the Burma Campaign UK shares how she has been supporting the cause from abroad.

6. Refugees’ double fight: Escaping home & surviving the host

At the beginning of 2022, there were more than 27 million refugees worldwide, and their right to protest is often limited or repressed. Nadia Hardman, a researcher in the Refugee and Migrants Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, speaks to us about these challenges. Abdul Aziz Muhamat shares his story as a Sudanese refugee who became an advocate for refugee rights while under long-term detention at the Australian government detention centre on Manus Island.

Meet the host

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Aarti Narsee She/Her

Aarti is a South African feminist, writer, and journalist who documents human rights violations across the world in her role as civic space researcher for the CIVICUS Monitor. Aarti has written extensively about gender and LGBTQI+ rights and has worked for eNCA, BBC, Sunday Times. Follow Aarti on twitter: @ajnarsee.

Do youhave an idea for an episode? want to recommend a guest?have any feedback?Let us know below!

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