Join the Swedish Government’s annual civil society forum

The Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson is welcoming you to join the conversation between September 14 at 15.00 and September 16 (CET) on the shrinking democratic space. Government ministers and civil society members will also discuss what we can do to support the poorest and most vulnerable who are hard hit by the impacts of the pandemic.

On shrinking democratic space
An invitation from The Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson:

‘Around the world, democratic space is shrinking even further as a result of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, civil society’s ability to operate has been further curtailed due to closures and restrictions on freedom of movement.

As government ministers and civil society members, what can we do to support the poorest and most vulnerable who are hard hit by the impacts of the pandemic?

Through the joint commitments to strengthen dialogue and collaboration in the area of development cooperation, the Government and civil society have together laid the foundation for cooperation on issues such as these. By continuing to work together, we can share experiences and support each other to tackle the difficult situation that many people are in, and which the pandemic is exacerbating.

Within the framework of the joint commitments, the Government and civil society are co-organising a yearly forum.

The focus this year is on how to engage young and informal movements in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. This year’s forum will be held digitally and in cooperation with the Sida Partnership Forum and several Swedish missions abroad, namely the embassies in Bogota and Nairobi, and the Swedish Dialogue Institute in Amman.

One of the main purposes of the joint commitments is to promote cooperation in the field between the Government and Sida on the one hand and civil society organisations on the other. During this year’s forum, the missions abroad will be acting as nodes for some of the discussions that take place.

The forum aims to be truly interactive, and we will also set up a digital bulletin board where participants can post information, videos and more.

The civil society forum also aims to be a learning event. This year we will have small group discussions on six different case studies produced by some of the invited civil society organisations.

A new working group for the joint commitments will also be elected at the forum. A nominations committee will propose new members of the working group; more information will follow.

We look forward to welcoming you!
Best regards,
Peter Eriksson
Minister for International Development Cooperation

Register now!
  • Participation in the discussion groups will be limited to a maximum of two people per organisation.
  • Everyone will be able to watch the forum’s open sessions, which will be broadcast on and other digital channels.
  • Register* no later than Friday 28 August by emailing
  • Please provide your name, the name of your organisation and the case study you would like to discuss.
  • If you have any questions about the forum or registration, please email us at
  • We will provide the programme and more information about a week prior to the forum
The Swedish Government’s annual civil society forum for dialogue and collaboration presents:
Six case studies

The following six case studies will be discussed (discussions will be held in English, except for the Latin American case study, which will be discussed in Spanish). Please choose only ONE of them when you register:

Asia: ‘Young SRHR activist engagement with local authorities (civic space and public perceptions) in Cambodia’.

America latina: ‘Defensa de la democracia desde los jóvenes y mujeres indígenas en el Ecuador a través de procesos organizativos y comunitarios: caso Pueblo Kayambi octubre 2019’.

Africa: ‘Young female leaders fighting without support in Kenya – supporting human rights defenders’.

Middle East: ‘A global loss of the civic voices of a generation – the challenges to political participation in the case of the Gaza Strip’.

Thematic 1: ‘Supporting human rights education and research in a time of diminished democratic space: dilemmas, opportunities, and the role and responsibilities of universities’.

Thematic 2: ‘Silencing the messenger – journalists in a time of shrinking civic space’.

*Consent for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to process my personal data in order to share information about the CSO forum: In connection with your registration for the CSO forum, we ask you to confirm the right of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and forum co-organisers to store, process and publish images/videos/streaming/voice recordings from the forum in which you appear, in both print and digital form, for the purpose of providing information about the joint commitments and organisation of the forum. Publication and distribution will take place via the Government Offices websites (live streaming), social media, digital platforms, printed material and as press photos. If, for security or other reasons, you do not wish to appear in recordings or documentation from the forum, we ask you to kindly indicate this on your registration form

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