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The latest trends

How to spot, stop, and shut´em up.

Oppression Magazine isn’t a real trend bible for authoritarian leaders in search of inspiration. Although a lot of them would probably subscribe to such a thing.

Around the world, we see brave student activists raising their voices against injustice and oppression. And regimes trying to silence them.

As protests develop, so does the toolbox for authoritarian leaders: laws labelling students as “terrorists”, taking advantage of new technology to surveil and control, infiltrating student movements, and random arrests. All this while also taking advantage of the massive rise in fake news.

When regimes get creative, so must we.

Join us in the fight to protect student activism globally!


Students are often the first to speak when unjust occurs, and the last to give in.

From the Vietnam war and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, to the Civil Disobedience Movement following the coup in Myanmar and the recent uprisings in Iran - students are at the helm of the most iconic social movements of our time.

As a consequence, students are facing a backlash and experiencing reduced civic space for their activism, regardless of how open a society is.


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Physical repression of student activism is only the tip of the iceberg.

Across different contexts, we observe that governments and other members of society use various strategies to repress student activists, such as:


Using laws that prohibit public disturbance or terrorism in ways that limit student activism. For example, The United Kingdom’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act makes activities of public nuisances, such as occupying university campuses, illegal.


Labelling students as “terrorists,” “hooligans,” “criminals,” “idiots,” “immature,” or “perverts.” For example, students supporting LGBTQIA+ rights in Brazil and Turkey have been called “perverts”.


Empowering student groups that support established authorities or incentivizing student support. For example, the Ghanaian government has promised jobs to students who support its policies.


Inflaming broader political or social tensions in ways that suppress activism. For example, Hindu nationalist student groups in India perpetrate violence against other students, particularly those from historically marginalized groups.


Palestinian students supporting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) movement take part in a rally during an election campaign rally for the student council at the Birzeit University, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Ahmad Talat/Zuma Press)


Protecting student activism is essential for cultivating a thriving civil society for our present and future.

At present, students are often overlooked in existing human rights documentation, which means that little is known about the subtle and coercive forms of abuse they face on a daily basis and the needs of this group.

More academic research and documentation of violations faced by student activists can better inform the scope of protection mechanisms, especially on who gets protection and how they get it, as well as, advocacy and solidarity efforts.


· Documentation: gather evidence of violations against student rights.
· Advocacy: mobilize solidarity and action through campaigns.
· Protection: support student activists to do their work safely.

Latest Trends Rapportforside

New report: Activism Under Attack

The report written by Dr Amy Kapit for SAIH, looks at student activism in the context of rising authoritarianism and shrinking civic space. We hope it can become an essential tool for raising awareness of the threats student activists and movements are facing, the importance of recognizing them as subjects of the right to academic freedom and taking action to protect their human rights.

Download the full report here or check out the summary here.

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