The role of Ethiopian human rights organizations has become increasingly important due to serious democratic backsliding in that country the past couple of years.  However, their work has been severely impeded with the implementation in 2009 of the Charities and Societies Act, one of the world’s most restrictive laws governing the work of civil society organizations, and a number of organizations have been forced to abandon human rights work. In this difficult environment, Freedom House has been providing training, technical assistance and moral support to help build credible and independent human rights institutions.