Parliaments, crackdowns and COVID-19: protecting people’s democratic freedoms

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Tuesday, 2 March
1 - 2.30pm UK time

Parliaments, crackdowns and COVID-19: protecting people’s democratic freedoms

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of countries worldwide have introduced severe restrictions to civic space. In some countries, governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to pass long-planned reforms to crack down on civic freedoms. These recent developments are a concern to citizens worldwide. What can parliaments around the world do to contain this trend?

On Tuesday, 2 March at 1.00pm UK time, WFD will host members of parliament and civil society to explore this recent phenomenon and share examples of how parliamentarians and civil society have worked together to fight for their voices to be heard.

The first part of the webinar will address the question of how civic space has been affected by the pandemic and the role of parliaments and parties in avoiding major backsliding of democratic practices. The second part will focus on concrete examples of members of parliament and civil society organisations in Kenya and Kyrgyzstan in defending these democratic spaces.

Speakers

First panel

  • Danny Kruger MP, House of Commons
  • Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, Civicus
  • Elly Page, Senior Legal Advisor, International Center for Not-for-profit Law (ICNL)
  • Julia Keutgen, Senior Transparency Advisor, WFD

Second panel 

  • Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham
  • Kasanga Sylvia, Senator, Kenya (Chairperson of the ad hoc Committee on COVID-19, Vice-Chair of Departmental Committee on Public Works, Roads and Transport,¬† Member of Powers and Privileges committee, Member of Departmental Committee on Lands and Natural Resources)
  • Caroline Gaita, Executive Director, Mzalendo Trust, Kenya
  • Klara Sooronkulova, presidential candidate, Kyrgyzstan

Register to join the event

""This event is part of WFD’s Participation and Openness Week

  • Who:
    WFD HQ
  • When:
    Tuesday, 2 March
    1 - 2.30pm UK time
  • Where
    Online
Registration