Freedom of association is a fundamental civil right, closely linked to the freedoms of expression and assembly, that is protected by all Human Rights international instruments, including article 20 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
What is the purpose of Freedom of Association?
It is a prerequisite for the development of NGO’s (including NGO’s promoting Human Rights), political parties and other groups, more generally, for a flourishing civil society. As such, Freedom of association constitutes an important indicator of the level of free thinking toward the democratic development. The right to associate facilitates and favours debates and plurality in a society, and association have an important role to fulfill as relays between citizens.
What does Freedom of Association cover?
Freedom of Association does not only cover the right to join, to create or to quite any association, organization or company, regardless of its legal form; it also requires that the others refrains from interfering in the activities of associations and favours the development of an environment that is conducive to Freedom of association.
To be truly free , you should respect the freedoms of others.