Freedom of Association

Freedom of association is the citizens’ right to associate with others who share similar priorities and concerns to take joint actions.

It includes the right to create or take part in formal and informal groups, such as charities, NGOs, and political movements, as well as the right to access resources. Freedom of association is an essential complement to other civil, political and social rights. Both in their action-orientated and advocacy orientated capacity, civic organisations contribute to keeping our societies inclusive and democratic.

However, in recent years, a number of states have passed policies that affect the sector’s capacity to operate and act, while draining CSOs of the resources and capacities that are needed to focus on their mission.