Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Uk Policy and the Global Closing Space for Civil Society: A 2017 Update

Jan 1, 2017

This report is an updated version of a report of the same title published by CAF in April 2016 to coincide with an official visit from Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association (a follow-up visit to his 2013 review), who spoke about the closing space for civil society at Parliamentary event hosted by CAF. That report sought to raise awareness of the impact that UK policy - given position of leadership and long history of cultivating civil society - could have on the closing space for civil society globally. That 'Discussion paper n°5' briefly explores the nature of the UK's soft power and how it can be wielded, before looking at recent global policy developments restricting the ability of CSOs to advocate; a trend that has become known as the 'closing space for civil society.'It goes on to examine the benefits that civil society advocacy brings to society, explores recent developments affecting civil society advocacy in the UK, and asks whether the legislative and rhetorical environment that has developed in the UK affects its international standing and ability to wield soft power.

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