Policy Brief 11/05/2023

Voices in Exile

Working to empower democratic movements in dictatorships and repressive contexts is always about supporting people driven by the belief that each of us can make a difference. Those who take the fight for democracy and freedom do so at an elevated risk to their safety and the safety of their family and friends. Sometimes, the situation becomes so dangerous that they find themselves left with no other choice but to
leave the country they love. For someone who has spent years supporting local activists promoting democracy, freedom and human rights, this breakup can be perceived as a resignation. It hurts to see one’s heroes’ surrender.

Over the years, however, we have learnt that the fight can continue from exile. Threats, harassment, and persecution may push the activists out of their beloved homeland but their fight for freedom continues. Sometimes the fight can be carried out more efficiently from exile. In such scenarios where activists are speaking for their beloved homeland from exile, the friends of democracy must understand their critical role of supporting these ‘voices in exile’.  The aim of the policy brief is to strengthen the voices of activists living in exile by documenting their struggle and putting forward policy suggestions to European policy makers. It focuses on three countries China, Belarus, and Nicaragua.

This publication is produced by the Christian Democratic International Center (KIC) with the support of the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP). Co-funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union and ENoP. 

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