Eastern Europe and Russia

Articles that focus on or discuss Eastern European countries and/or Russia


Polish activists fight for rights already guaranteed in their constitution

October 23, 2019
By: Małgorzata Szuleka

The democratic community in Poland is under threat, but activists and judges who use the constitution ...

Technology and gaming innovations bring new life to Russian NGOs

September 12, 2019
By: Tatiana Tolsteneva
Español | Русский

Russia’s non-profit sector has been playing a constant game of catch-up—can new media technologies break ...

Ukraine may need to look beyond the ICC for justice

July 24, 2019
By: Quincy Cloet

While many Ukranians place their hopes in the ICC to end impunity, improving the local judiciary could ...

What Putin’s supposed “death” of liberalism means for human rights

July 18, 2019
By: Koldo Casla

If Putin was right, and liberalism is dead, what would be the future of human rights in global politics?

NGOs start thinking like businesses in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

April 3, 2019
By: Rostislav Valvoda

NGOs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have shown resilience under pressure by inventing new ways to ...

Landmark case from Romania expands possibilities for LGBT rights

March 5, 2019
By: Adrian Coman

A landmark case on same-sex marriage in Romania could expand the possibilities for LGBT rights in the ...

Funding changes in the Caucasus—will NGOs adapt?

February 20, 2019
By: Almut Rochowanski

Many NGOs in the North Caucasus have survived the panic of Russia’s “foreign agent” law, but not all ...

The privilege of remedy: how accessible is the ECtHR?

October 2, 2018
By: Leyla-Denisa Obreja

The European Court of Human Rights is supposed to help victims of rights violations seek justice, but ...

Despite closing space, innovative branches of Russian civil society thrive

September 18, 2018
By: Almut Rochowanski

After years of coverage about how the “foreign agent law” would spell the end of freedom of association ...

Dropping the defense: hopeful stories fight stigma in Hungary

August 24, 2018
By: Stefania Kapronczay & Anna Kertész

Dropping defensive tactics and reframing human rights in a relatable way are both key to responding ...

Human rights NGOs should learn funding lessons from service providers

August 7, 2018
By: Dimitrina Petrova

Human rights NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe are facing increased hostility from governments and ...

Assessment tools can strengthen social movements by bringing activists together

May 24, 2018
By: PeiYao Chen & Natalia Karbowska
Español | Français | العربية | Русский | Українська

A new measurement tool helps social movement actors identify where they are progressing and where they ...

Fighting the backlash against feminism in Bulgaria

May 2, 2018
By: Nadejda Dermendjieva & Gergana Kutseva

In Bulgaria, women’s rights, feminism, and LGBTQ rights are inflammatory topics, and one women’s fund ...

As NGOs speak out, expect clampdowns to grow

December 6, 2017
By: David Kode

Governments from Uganda to Poland are silencing activists and organizations that criticize them—what ...

Indigenous rights in the Russian Arctic: self-determining communities or stakeholders?

October 11, 2017
By: Laura A. Henry

When indigenous rights are not observed, communities that shift their demands from the state to the ...

When advocacy work builds resilience, everyone benefits

May 11, 2017
By: Kristi Pinderi
Español | shqiptar

For many, activism can be healthy and healing.

Discrimination in action: the value of experiments in human rights

May 5, 2017
By: Ana Bracic

A video game experiment in Slovenia reveals discriminatory practices against the Roma—what else might ...

Crowdfunding to bypass Russia’s civil society crackdown

March 21, 2017
By: Grigory Okhotin

With heightened restrictions on foreign funding, reporting on the Russian government’s repression requires ...

Fast and flexible support: ingredients to enrich LGBTI campaigning

November 4, 2016
By: Laura Piazza

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to campaigning for today’s LGBTI activists, but providing support ...

Closing space in Hungary with a Russian cookbook

October 28, 2016
By: Péter Krekó

Hungary is using Russia’s playbook to close down civil society space, and many Western allies are hardly ...

In southeastern Europe, data helps bolster LGBTI rights

July 11, 2016
By: Marko Ivkovic 
Español | Српски

Using polling data, the National Democratic Institute is helping LGBTI groups in southeastern Europe ...

Crisis in Europe exposes failing refugee protection regime

May 11, 2016
By: John Torpey

The refugee protection regime works if it remains limited to those genuinely fleeing persecution — though ...

Local funding is not just an option anymore—it’s an imperative

May 10, 2016
By: Jenny Hodgson

As local rights groups seek alternative funding sources, the closing space for civil society makes this ...

Civil society in the post-Soviet space: fighting for the “End of History”

April 20, 2016
By: Orysia Lutsevych 

“Partly free” countries in the post-Soviet space must fight even harder now to protect growing civil ...

Building community around women’s rights: feminist philanthropy in Serbia

March 11, 2016
By: Zoe Gudovic

Becoming agents of change for women’s rights in Serbian society requires creativity in building connections ...

Grounds for (a little) optimism? Russian public opinion on human rights

January 18, 2016
By: Theodore P. Gerber 
Español | Русский

Despite Putin’s clampdown on Russian civil society, public opinion trends point to growing support for ...

Does it matter when polls go wrong?

June 29, 2015
By: Kathy Frankovic 

When political polls go wrong, many people start to doubt polling entirely. But that’s a costly mistake.

Long before “internationalization”: Human Rights Watch and local collaborations in Russia

January 22, 2015
By: Tanya Lokshina

Despite a hostile climate and many different challenges, the collaborations of Human Rights Watch with ...