Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society
The Community of Democracies (CoD) is a global intergovernmental coalition of states, founded in 2000 to bring together governments, civil society and the private sector to support and strengthen democratic rules, norms and institutions around the world. The Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society, one of six working groups established by the member states to embody and concretise the values of the CoD , is chaired by Canada and made up of 13 governments, four civil society organizations with expertise in laws governing civil society, three advisory organizations and observers. Since its inception in 2009, the Group has been working to support the essential role that civil society organisations play in a well-functioning democratic society. The Group engages in quiet diplomacy, advocacy and technical assistance activities to prevent the adoption of restrictive laws that target civil society and to foster the development of those enabling laws that allow civil society to thrive. It has been effective in coordinating diplomatic actions to counter legislation that excessively restricts civil society, and its work has contributed to restrictive draft laws in several countries having been shelved or amended.