The second Summit for Democracy in March 2023 is a unique opportunity for countries and activists to convene and re-envision democracy in a way that truly works for everyone. We believe it must offer a platform for marginalized voices to be at the forefront of efforts to design a better, more inclusive, responsive and just form of democratic governance that can be sustained long into the future.
Many of the activists and communities supported by AJWS are pushed to the margins of society. They include genocide survivors, human rights defenders, stateless people, the LGBTQI+ community, Indigenous people, small farmers, members of ethnic or religious minorities, pro-democracy activists and journalists. Their experiences, lessons and input offer the best litmus test to determine whether democracy is thriving. And it is their leadership and example that can provide a path forward to a more rights-based democratic future.
This AJWS policy paper explores the ways in which marginalized communities, activists and journalists are being disproportionately harmed by the surge in democratic backsliding and authoritarianism, and how they are actively seeking to keep democracy alive. We provide recommendations for the United States government on how to best bolster democracy worldwide. One of our top recommendations is that together with other participating states the U.S. government should institute regular summits, with rotating and shared leadership among countries and civil society.