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Programme

Shrinking space for civil society

In many parts of the world independent civil society is coming under growing pressure from governments made uncomfortable by their work. This programme looks at the ways in which non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are finding it harder to register, operate and raise funds in a worsening political climate. It will examine the use of ‘foreign agent’ laws, opaque reporting requirements and other attempts to restrict international donor funding. It will look at the way independent civil society activists are increasingly targeted by regimes looking to silence their voices.

Publications in this programme
Articles relating to this programme
Events in this programme

Closing the door: the challenge facing activists from the former Soviet Union seeking asylum or refuge

This event will examine how countries, particularly in Europe, are making it more difficult for activists and others from the former Soviet Union who are at risk of persecution to seek refuge or secure asylum. It will discuss at the ways in which countries are increasingly sending those at risk back to their country of origin, sometimes misusing the concepts of ‘Internal Protection’ and ‘safe third countries’ . The event will explore the need for asylum systems to ...

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Speakers
  • Claire Rimmer Quaid, ECRE Senior Policy and Project Officer, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
  • Dr Leila Alieva, Academic Visitor, St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford
  • Dr Saipira Furstenberg, Postdoctoral fellow and Project Manager,  Central Asian Political Exiles project, University of Exeter
  • Chair: Baroness Stern CBE, Secretary, All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights
When
December 4, 2017
6pm-7.30pm
Where

Committee Room 5, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Spotlight on Chechnya: Kadyrov’s crackdown on human rights

The Foreign Policy Centre and Civil Rights Defenders are organising an important seminar to shine a spotlight on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Russian Republic of Chechnya. Since coming to power in 2007 the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has imposed order in the wake of two bloody wars with Russia through a mix of lavish spending and the establishment of a brutal local dictatorship. Chechnya has long been ...

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Speakers
  • Lana Estemirova, daughter of murdered  human rights activist Natalia Estemirova
  • Oleg Orlov, Head of the ‘Hot Spots’ program, Memorial
  • Olga Sadovskaja, Deputy Head, Committee Against Torture
  • Chair: Stephen Doughty MP, Member for Cardiff South and Penarth
When
February 20, 2018
6pm-7.30pm
Where

Committee Room 11, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

Free speech on trial: journalists, writers and academics under attack in Turkey

The Foreign Policy Centre, Article 19 and Reporters Without Borders are organising an important seminar to shine a spotlight on the challenges against free speech in Turkey. Since the 2016 failed coup attempt, human rights activists argue the State of Emergency measures imposed by the government have been used to silence dissent and restrict any political opposition in Turkey. While issues of censorship and media oppression predate the failed coup, numbers of ...

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Speakers
  • Figen Çalıkuşu, Mehmet Altan’s lawyer
  • Erol Önderoğlu, journalist and Reporters Without Borders’s representative in Turkey
  • Nurcan Baysal, Kurdish human rights defender and writer
  • Martin Whitfield MP, UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
  • Georgia Nash, Programme Officer, Article 19
  • Chair: Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the International Development Select Committee
When
May 22, 2018
6pm-7.30pm
Where

Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London, SW1A 2LW

 

The rise of illiberal civil society in the former Soviet Union

This seminar launched and discussed a new Foreign Policy Centre publication looking the growing influence of illiberal, anti-Western and socially conservative civil society groups, popular movements and political forces in five post-Soviet states (Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova), looking at who these groups are, what they are doing and why. The event looked at the local social, cultural, historic and economic roots of such groups, some of whom have ...

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Speakers
  • Mihaela Ajder, Moldovan human rights activist and journalist
  • Adam Hug, Director, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Mariam Uberi, Research Fellow ( covering Georgia), Foreign Policy Centre
  • Chair: Stephen Gethins MP, Foreign Affairs Select Committee and Scottish National Party International Affairs and Europe Spokesperson
When
July 17, 2018
6pm-7.30pm
Where

Committee Room 12, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

 

Listen to audio recording here

Bad idea: the rise of illiberal values and the exporting of repression across the former Soviet Union

The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) and the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI) are delighted to host a lunchtime seminar on 12 April to conclude the initial work of the FPC’s Exporting Repression project. This event will explore the FPC’s recent research into the way in which authoritarian values are promoted and developed both within and from the countries of the former Soviet Union. It will look at how these ‘new ...

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Speakers
  • Dr David Lewis, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Dr Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
  • Jacqueline Hale, Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Adam Hug, Director, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Iskra Kirova (moderator), Senior Analyst, OSEPI
When
April 12, 2018
12.00pm-2pm
Where

Open Society European Policy Institute, Rue du Trône 130, Brussels, B-1050 Belgium

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