Shrinking civic space: what can Sweden do to support those who dare?


Civil society organisations’ space to act, react and operate is rapidly shrinking. The threats, attacks and murders on human rights activists are escalating and new laws are implemented to restrict the operational power of civil society. 

This trend of “shrinking civic space” is an accelerating and expanding global clampdown on civil society affecting both organisations and individuals, and in particular those who challenge political or economic elites. Despite this, activists, organisations and completely ordinary people still choose to stand up for their rights, risking their lives, to achieve change and respect for human rights. 

This phenomenon is highly present in the Eastern partnership region, where independent journalists, LGBTQI communities and anti-corruption activists are fighting for fundamental freedoms while being highly exposed to political violence.

The increased pressure on civil society actors and human rights defenders requires drastic measures - because there is no democracy without civil society. What can Sweden do to support those who dare to defend their rights in an oppressed regime? 

Venue: Sverige i Världen, Donnersgatan 6, Almedalen
Time: Monday 1/7. 11:00-11:45


  • Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation
  • Karina Shyrokykh, Associate Research Fellow, Utrikespolitiska Insitutet
  • Ognjen Radonjic, Head of Eastern Europe, Forum Syd
  • Anders L. Pettersson, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders

Moderator: Anna-Lena Laurén, Journalist, DN