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We were established in 1993 and since 2002 have been proudly headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional hubs across the globe. We are a membership alliance with more than 4,000 members in more than 175 countries.
Our definition of civil society is broad and covers non-governmental organisations, activists, civil society coalitions and networks, protest and social movements, voluntary bodies, campaigning organisations, charities, faith-based groups, trade unions and philanthropic foundations. Our membership is diverse, spanning a wide range of issues, sizes and organisation types.
Our Unique Contribution to Change
At CIVICUS, our identity is informed by:
- Our diverse global membership, with a strong presence in the global south.
- Our clear mandate to defend civic space and promote civil society.
- Our focus on strengthening citizen action and civil society writ large, working across issues, geographies and organisation types.
- Our role as a trusted convener and thought leader on civil society issues and trends.
- Our ability to amplify civil society voices and enable activists and organisations to speak truth to power.
- Our commitment to standing in solidarity with actors across civil society.
- Our capacity to incubate and support ambitious strategies and initiatives to improve civil society’s
- effectiveness and inclusivity.
Our work at CIVICUS is guided by these values and principles:
- We believe in justice and dignity for all, while putting the most excluded first.
- We believe that people and their organisations, working together, can change
- the world.
- We stand for a strong, independent and progressive civil society.
- We challenge power with principled courage.
- We are champions of accountability, diversity and inclusion.
- We are committed to global solidarity and believe in building from below and beyond borders.
- We seek systems change to tackle the universal and inter-related nature of the world’s most pressing challenges.