Pandemic and protests show the essential value of civil society

By Andrew Firmin, Editor-in-Chief at CIVICUS

Economic inequality soared while the super-wealthy cashed in. Meanwhile, international cooperation was largely lacking and vaccine nationalism became the order of the day. Civil society didn’t just supply help; civil society organisations instinctively connected their humanitarian response with demands that rights be upheld, for migrant workers, women, and LGBTQI+ people at risk of gender-based violence and Indigenous groups homeless people, among others.

The need for civil society was made clear; many people’s experience of this global emergency would have been much worse if civil society hadn’t acted. This made it all the more shameful that many states intensified restrictions on civil society and sought to prevent civil society holding states to account for their pandemic actions and omissions.

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