Three women who are marching in a student protest chant with other protesters.

Civic Space

Lawyers and advocates from the Open Society Justice Initiative seek to protect basic democratic rights around the world—often in the face of authoritarian repression that seeks to silence dissent.

Promoting the rights of citizens to speak freely and critically about their governments—either individually or together—is at the heart of the mission of the Open Society Foundations.

At the Justice Initiative, we vigorously oppose government efforts to curtail those freedoms. We are committed in particular to defending independent human rights and law groups from illegitimate attacks on their work and funding. We also promote the public’s right to obtain information on the workings of government, and the right to secure access to archival records on historical abuses. 

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