Participation and association

The right to participation and association is closely linked to the right to freedom of expression:  it allows expression as part of a collective, enables organising and campaigning for change, challenging the status quo, and participation in local/national democracy and inter-governmental fora. The ability to ensure diversity and pluralism in public debates, and therefore build a successful democracy, depends on people’s ability to express themselves, but also to choose the organisations or political affiliations they demonstrate participation though.

Legislation that restricts NGOs’ access to foreign funding, requires registration or permits to engage with foreign governments or IGOs, provides for travel bans/restrictions, or sets out onerous reporting requirements designed to prevent NGOs’ operations, are among the many ways governments around the world can seek to limit these rights and therefore avoid criticism or dissent. At their most extreme, they can see the designation of CSOs or social movements as “terrorist organisations”.

Equally, intimidation of political opposition and activists, dissolution of political parties, and judicial harassment of political leaders are serious issues that threaten political expression as well as association and participation, and can deny the public their right to participate in democratic processes and public debate.

12.03.2019 3 min read

HRC40: Oral statement on interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

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12.02.2019 3 min read

Myanmar: End crackdown on protesters in Kayah State

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12.12.2018 1 min read

Ethiopia: Joint UPR finds civic space remains constricted

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31.10.2018 4 min read

Brazil: ARTICLE 19 urges all public authorities in Brazil to protect and defend freedom of expression and human rights

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18.10.2018 5 min read

ACHPR: Withdrawing Coalition of African Lesbians’ observer status threatens civil society participation

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09.10.2018 1 min read

Senegal: UPR submission on freedom of expression issues

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Latin America: Principle 10 agreement opens up for ratification
27.09.2018 3 min read

Latin America: Principle 10 agreement opens up for ratification

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24.08.2018 5 min read

Uganda: Vicious crackdown on protest, journalism, and opposition around by-election

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Cambodia: Ruling party claims victory in sham election marked by vicious crackdown on freedom of expression
02.08.2018 4 min read

Cambodia: Ruling party claims victory in sham election marked by vicious crackdown on freedom of expression

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