Civic Space

Engaging and publicly expressing dissent is a crucial tool and cornerstone of democracy.

Protecting civic space and promoting protest rights has never been so critical.

Protest is a fundamental human right that acts as a gateway to maintaining and strengthening other rights for all. The rights to peaceful assembly and association, to free expression and opinion, to participate in political life and to life and non-discrimination are all part of the right to protest and their protection by states is vital to a robust, pluralist and participatory democracy.

However, governments are often the main violators of these rights and endorse practices that curtail people’s ability to engage in protest and demand change. When policing resorts to laws that criminalize protesters and to using excessive force to disperse crowds, it paves the way for human rights violations against protesters, social leaders and their communities.

Alongside holding states accountable for their human rights responsibilities, INCLO seeks to bring further attention to the immense issue of a largely unregulated transnational crowd-control weapons industry, calling for further transparency, binding regulations and accountability mechanisms.

Our goals


To achieve protection of all the rights that make up the right to protest


Tighter regulation of the use and trade of crowd-control weapons employed by law enforcement


Investigation of brutality and structural discrimination by policing institutions, especially against socially marginalized groups


Strengthening of INCLO members’ national, regional and international work defending these rights

Other Pillars