CIVICUS Monitor Ratings Update October 2017
Updated ratings from the CIVICUS Monitor, released 4 October 2017, provide further evidence that the space for civil society - civic space - continues to close around the world. The findings show that this phenomenon extends to a wide range of countries - from established democracies like Belgium and the Netherlands, to economic powerhouse China and conflict ridden Yemen. The report outlines how civic space ratings worsened in eight countries, improved in two and remained unchanged in 185 countries. These changes are based on a review of quantitative and qualitative data on the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression undertaken between July and September 2017.
- 108 countries are now in the CIVICUS Monitor’s ‘obstructed’, ‘repressed’ and ‘closed’ categories, an increase of two from April 2017, which indicate serious restrictions of civic space.
- Just 22 countries now occupy the ‘open’ category, down from 26 in April. This means that just 2% of the world’s population live in a country with ‘open’ civic space. This analysis also shows that more than three billion people live in countries with serious to extreme restrictions on fundamental civic freedoms.
- Only 13 of 28 European Union (EU) member states now have ‘open’ civic space, an uncomfortable statistic for the leaders of a union founded on the values of democracy and human rights.
- Journalists are especially vulnerable to violations of their civic freedoms, between June 2016 and September 2017, the CIVICUS Monitor published a total of 184 reports involving attacks of one kind or another on journalists.