Toolkit for Advocacy in Restricted Spaces: a resource for HRDs and organizations

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and rapid response advocacy and resiliency grants. They recently published a toolkit that provides practical support and inspiration for human rights organizations, facing restrictions and challenges in the contexts they work in.

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund, a consortium led by Freedom House, released the Advocacy in Restricted Spaces Toolkit, which is intended as a practical resource for carrying out human rights advocacy within restrictive contexts.

In a situation where human rights defenders and CSOs around the world are deeply concerned about the increase of restrictive measures, threats and intimidations on civil society due to the COVID-19 crisis, the toolkit seems as relevant as ever, even though it was created before the outbreak of the pandemic. Thanks to its practical and specific approach, the guiding steps and examples can serve as an empowering inspiration for the work of CSOs in many parts of the world.

A demonstrator plays the violin during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images.
If you can’t meet publicly because the government has imposed a prohibition on gatherings of more than five people, how do you engage in advocacy inside your country? Is it even possible? We want to help you find a way to say “yes” to this question! Lifeline embattled CSO Assistance Fund

The toolkit contains guiding steps and questions for advocacy planning, 10 key tactics to apply in restrictive and difficult contexts, as well as additional resources and numerous examples. It includes chapters on the use of regional and international mechanisms, addressing stigmatization, using digital technologies, best practices of Well-Being, among others.

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund is a consortium of the following 7 international non-governmental organizations: Freedom House, ICNL, Frontline Defenders, CIVICUS, FORUM-ASIA, People in Need, and SILC.

A woman participates in a protest demanding government accountability. Photo: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Photos: Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund.

Download the toolkit for Advocacy in Restricted Spaces here.

Online workshop to explore the toolkit


Lifeline will host an interactive online workshop to explore effective advocacy in restrictive spaces using its new toolkit on the 1st of July. Register here until 29th June.