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The right to freedom of association


States have an obligation to ensure that people are free to form and participate in associations to promote and protect human rights. This includes being able to seek and receive resources, to organise and to peacefully promote and protect human rights in association with others. International law recognizes the rights of individuals, through NGO’s, to pursue a broad range of objectives as long as their activities are legal and lawful. Also, the freedom of association includes the rights to associate informally. 

International standards
Articles 1 and 5 of
UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
Article 20 of
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 22 of
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 8 of
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Regional standards
Article 10 of
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
Article 16 of
American Convention on Human Rights
Article 4(h) of
Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women
Article XXII of
American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man
Article 11 of
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
Article 24 of
Arab Charter on Human Rights (2004)



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