Free civic space

Everyone has a right to participate in decisions that affect them, but the extractive sector - when dominated by corrupt companies and governments, can be brutal in its silencing of communities and closing of civic space.

Working to stop corruption, mostly in resource-rich countries, our members bear the brunt of this shrinking civic space. PWYP is working to protect activists under attack for challenging powerful interests and to defend open civic spaces.


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‘Open’ civic space means places where citizens are free to form associations, demonstrate in public places and share information without restrictions in law or practice.

Just three of the world’s 65 countries with the most natural resources have ‘open’ civic space, and around 40% of attacks against activists tracked globally are linked to the extractive industries. These companies often have powerful vested interests in undermining the communities seeking a fairer, cleaner energy future.

PWYP is working to stop attacks on activists and wider civic space. We stand in solidarity with community-level civil society groups to help them challenge restrictions on civic space and we seek international levers to raise problems. Our movement works hand in hand with partners and allies on civic space and other human rights issues to protect activists under attack for challenging powerful interests.

The views of vulnerable people who depend on extractives must be heard throughout the clean energy transition, and the impact on their lives taken into account. Companies and governments can avoid conflicts by listening communities.

In this transformative moment, having safe and open civic space is more important than ever. Increasing attempts to silence civil society voices are therefore not only unjust but short-sighted.