Diversity & Inclusion @ CIVICUS

At CIVICUS, we know that understanding, appreciating and cherishing diversity is essential to our mission to strengthen civil society and citizen action worldwide. As a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists, we strive within the CIVICUS secretariat and across the alliance to sustain an organisational culture that recognises, respects and values the diversity of our members, partners, staff and volunteers.

For us, this means putting in place, implementing and regularly reviewing policies and practices that safeguard against discrimination, acknowledge and respect everyone’s unique identities and belongings - including, but not limited to, a person’s nationality, citizenship status, geographical location, linguistic background, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, faith, religion, age, disability status, health status, HIV status, family/relationship status, caregiving status, educational background, employment status, social class and cultural identity.

You can read more about our commitment and actions towards inclusion in the CIVICUS Diversity Statement (español / française). 


What do we mean by Diversity and Inclusion?


Diversity  is about welcoming all of the dimensions that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another, often referred to as "the mix." Inclusion is the proactive and mindful steps we take to make sure diversity happens, creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.

Diversity is what you have. Inclusion is how you do it.

We know that to achieve the diverse and vibrant alliance we want and need to be requires sustained commitment and energy, meaningful interactions with our stakeholders, ongoing learning and measurement and the reporting of progress on our diversity and inclusion efforts.

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Recent diversity and inclusion initiatives

  • CIVICUS internal Diversity and Inclusion working group was constituted to lead on recommendations of our diversity audit. Recent examples of responses include a new anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy, and public feedback and complaints mechanism.
  • Recognising that women human rights defenders experience all the risks and threats their male counterparts do, plus some specific to their gender and the patriarchal systems they challenge, we regularly publish statements, interviews and videos to raise visibility for WHRDS at risk.
  • CIVICUS has created a Social Inclusion toolkit as a resource for our members and networks.
  • In December 2018, CIVICUS hosted a members’ on the need for dynamic accountability to address diversity and inclusion issues in the sector (“Sex, Race and Power”).
  • Participating in and convening actions for:
    • Commission on the Status of Women, most recently CSW63
    • #SheDefends Women Human Rights Defenders Middle East/North Africa campaign.
    • International days such as 16 Days of Activism, International Youth Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, among others.
  • Highlighting diversity & inclusion related learnings and thinking, and amplifying diverse voices in publications such as: Peers and Partners: Empowering Children to take Civic Action; State of Civil Society Report 2016

The CIVICUS Youth Working Group connects young activists and spurs youth capacity, innovation and inclusion in key strategic inter-generational discussions and actions.