Restrictions on the operation of civil society organizations in Africa violate freedom of associationPosted: 11 June, 2012 Filed under: Esete B Faris | Tags: African Charter on Democracy, civil society, CSOs, Egypt, elections, Eritrea, Ethiopia, freedom of association, funding, governance, human rights monitoring, intimidation, limitations, registration, Zimbabwe 4 Comments
Author: Esete B Faris
LLM (Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa) student, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
The role of civil society cannot be underestimated in Africa. Despite the fact that several governments are suppressive, there is widespread circulation of information on human rights abuses and successes. This is attributable to the immense role that civil society plays. Without a civil society in Africa, the world would not hastily recognise the shortcomings of African leaders’ regimes.
It is undeniable that an independent and effective civil society contributes to the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights in a country. The role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) is to serve as a watchdog at the domestic level and international level. This implies that the right to freedom of association is essential for CSOs to operate effectively and efficiently.