Young Activists in Shrinking Civic Space: The importance of applying an age lens

Across the world we see the democratic space for civil society shrinking, putting young activists at risk and hindering their civic engagement. Based on consultations with young activists in 21 countries, Plan International has put together a policy brief on how we – as development partners – can better support young activists and their organisations in their strive for democracy and human rights.

Register to attend here. 

Plan International and Swedish Development Forum (FUF) invite you to join an online panel discussion on youth activism and agency lead by Monica Lorensson of Plan International Sweden. What distinguishes child and young human rights defenders from other activists? What are the common risks faced by young activists and what kind of support do they want? How can Sweden’s Drive for Democracy strengthen young activists and their spaces? Is there a way to balance their agency and need for protection? Tune in on December 1st to find out!


Janine Alm Ericson – Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation, representing the Green Party.

Desmond Muchadei Sharukai – activist and program officer at Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT). He specializes in youth development and elections and advocates for a greater inclusion of youth in democratic and developmental space.

Martha Sanchez – Regional Civil Society Strengthening and Partnership Specialist at Plan International, based in Nicaragua. She has been active in feminist movements since she was 15. Today she is supporting other youth activists and movements across the region.

Staffan I Lindberg – Professor at the Department of Political Science and Founding Director of V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg. He leads V-Dem, one of the world’s most far-ranging democracy measurement projects, involving some 3,500 scholars and practitioners from across the globe.

Lena Kjellberg – Thematic Advisor, Civil Society Strengthening and Partnership at Plan International Sweden, where she leads the work to advance how the organisation supports and partners with youth-led organisations, for example through the Civic Space Flex Fund.


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