These measures also form part of a pattern that can be seen globally. In all cases the effect is a restricting of civil society and the ability of civil society actors to communicate, form alliances and campaign. Restrictions based on funding sources as well as the uses of registration procedures to restrict civil society have been a pattern across many of these cases. Rather than solely using draconian sentences to suppress civil society, although it should be noted that these are also being used, recent regulations and practice have restricted the ability of civil society to function within a legal framework, to organise, to assemble and communicate. These reactions are perhaps a response to the increasing international organisation of civil society, whether through networks such as CIVICUS or through international funding mechanisms. Despite the fact that such legislation targets formal CSOs, one of the principal factors that has led to this response among repressive states appears to be the rise of informal movements, often utilising social media as an organising tool, as has been seen in the Middle East, and in Russia’s protest movement.
Addressing restrictive practice and legislation should be a priority for global civil society during the coming years. It is difficult for civil society in any one country to effectively address specific measures, as international comparison can always be used to justify particular legislation and practice on the part of states. It is therefore imperative that civil society responds collectively and internationally, drawing attention to the parallels between these practices and the ‘shared learning’ on forms for repression, which appears to be occurring between states. Equally, global civil society needs to draw attention to emerging administrative and legislative practices across all regions, which enable this approach and often legitimise it. International and intergovernmental mechanisms should be used to highlight such measures that close space for civil society in all regions. It is imperative that civil society responds globally to remove the justification of international acceptance of such practices, to address acute cases, and to highlight and combat these trends in a growing number of countries.
PEN International is tackling this issue of enabling conditions for civil society through both national advocacy by affected PEN Centres and by compiling information at the international level. Pooling information to clearly and robustly identify trends will enable international coalitions of CSOs, such as PEN International and CIVICUS and its members, to utilise intergovernmental mechanisms to prevent a further internationalisation of restrictive practices.
 Frank Geary was at the time of writing Deputy Director of PEN International, an international organisation of writers and freedom of expression activists, with 144 member Centres in 102 countries and an international secretariat in London, UK. In March 2013 he began a new role as Director of the Irish Development Education Association. Frank can be contacted at email@example.com.
 See the PEN Charter at http://www.pen-international.org/pen-charter/.
 For PEN International caselists see http://pen-international.org/campaigns/how-to-campaign/caselist/
 For more information on these two campaigns see http://www.pen-international.org/campaigns/current-campaigns/mexico-day-of-the-dead-campaign-2011/ and http://www.pen-international.org/write-against-impunity-the-campaign/.
 The Declaration can be accessed at http://www.pen-international.org/pen-declaration-on-digital-freedom/.