COVID-19 and Civil Society report

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on civic space are increasing. Recognizing the need to protect public health, our report looks at nine kinds of restrictions that could limit civic space for the long term and how civil society can respond.

Protecting civic space during the pandemic

Throughout history, governments have used crises to introduce measures that would be unacceptable in normal times. AFSC Associate General Secretary for International Programs Kerri Kennedy speaks to the importance of protecting civic space in this moment—even as governments take critical steps to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Our podcast

AFSC's new limited-series podcast, "Under the Mask," explores how communities are finding ways to connect, organize, and challenge repression in these times. Our podcast draws from a series of online dialogues hosted by AFSC this summer, which brought together activists and civil society organizations from around the world to share their experiences and tools to counter oppressive state measures.

Global restrictions

Unclickable parts of the map signify AFSC’s Under the Mask program does not currently research or monitor the region.

Get in touch

Under the Mask is an evolving project dedicated to the alarming increase in restrictions on civic space around the world, worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how individuals and organizations are responding to protect that space. We welcome your feedback about this website, and we invite you to participate in our collective effort.