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.

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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01.08.2018 1 min read

Cambodia: Joint UPR submission on threats to freedom of expression

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17.07.2018 8 min read

UNHRC: Action needed to safeguard civic space within international organisations

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04.07.2018 9 min read

HRC38: Member states should support resolution to protect civil society space

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18.06.2018 2 min read

HRC38: Oral statement in response to Independent Expert on SOGI and Special Rapporteur on free assembly and association

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Thailand: NGOs call on Prime Minister to drop charges against protestors
05.06.2018 5 min read

Thailand: NGOs call on Prime Minister to drop charges against protestors

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Philippines: Human Rights Defenders and UN Special Rapporteur on terrorist ‘hit list’
04.04.2018 2 min read

Philippines: Human Rights Defenders and UN Special Rapporteur on terrorist ‘hit list’

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Latin America and Caribbean: Civil society and activists push for a binding agreement for Principle 10
27.02.2018 3 min read

Latin America and Caribbean: Civil society and activists push for a binding agreement for Principle 10

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