Civic Charter Launched by International Civil Society Centre

December 01, 2016

The Civic Charter, an initiative led by the International Civil Society Centre, was oficially launched at Global Perspectives 2016 in Berlin (Germany) on October 26. Developed through international consultations, it presents an opportunity to align efforts and develop new action initiatives to protect and expand civic space.

The preamable of the Charter reads:

We, the people have the right and the duty to participate in shaping our societies

Human rights and fundamental freedoms are increasingly violated worldwide. In a growing number of countries, people and their organisations face severe restrictions and are deprived of their rights to participate in shaping their societies. Activists are threatened, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Legitimate civil society organisations are hindered in their work, deprived of funding, forbidden to operate and dissolved. Avenues for people’s participation in public decision-making are restricted or closed down.

Yet, unless people genuinely participate, the world will be unable to overcome its most threatening challenges, including persistent poverty, growing inequality, and climate change.

People’s individual and collective participation brings life and gives meaning to democracy. It is vital in protecting human rights, achieving development and building just, tolerant and peaceful societies. It ensures that those who hold public offices, or other positions of power, are held accountable for their actions, and working for the common good.

We reject any attempt to prevent people from participating in shaping their communities, their countries and our common planet.


The Civic Charter provides a framework for people’s participation


The Civic Charter is grounded in our common humanity and universally accepted freedoms and principles. It provides a framework for people’s participation that identifies their rights within existing international law and agreements.

It is imperative that all governments, all levels of public administration, international institutions, business and civil society organisations worldwide fully respect and implement the provisions of this Charter.

You can read the rest of the Charter along with the list of signatories (including a number of GTN members) here.