print

Property and Income

Introduction


      Ability to generate and seek income

Non-governmental organisations can both generate income from their activities and seek it from public and private sources within and beyond the state in which they are established. This income can be in form of cash, other forms of financial instruments, bequests of property and goods or equipment. See Article 13 of the United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Rights and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 6 (f) of the United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and Paragraphs 14 and 50 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe. However, see also Pastificio Attilio Mastromauro S r l v. Italy (dec.), 30 November 2000 and Union des Atheìes v. France (Report) , 6 July 1994.

      Conditions governing acquisition and use of income

The income of non-governmental organisations must always be generated or obtained in accordance with the regulatory requirements generally applicable to the means involved, including those governing customs, foreign exchange, money-laundering and the funding of elections and political parties. However, these regulatory requirements must always be compatible with universal and regional human rights standards. See Parti nationaliste basque – Organisation régionale d'Iparralde v. France, 7 June 2007, at paras. 47-52 and Korneenko et al. v. Belarus, (HRC), 31 October 2006, at para. 7.5.

All income generated or received by non-governmental organisations, as well as any assets into which it is converted, must be used exclusively for the pursuit of its objectives and must not be distributed to their members if it they are membership-based. See Paragraph 9 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

Any income received by non-governmental organisations on a tax-exempt basis, as well as any assets into which it is converted, must not be applied for any purpose that is not tax-exempt. See Paragraph 54 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.


      Ability to pay staff and reimburse expenses

Non-governmental organisations can use their income and assets to pay their staff and to reimburse any expenses incurred on their behalf. See Paragraph 55 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

      Access to banking facilities

Non-governmental organisations should be able to manage and use their income and assets with the assistance of their own banking facilities where they have legal personality. See Paragraph 51 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

      Protection for property interests

Non-governmental organisations should be able to protect all their property interests through legal proceedings. See Paragraph 52 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

Non-governmental organisations may be required to act on independent advice when selling or acquiring land or other major assets in order to be sure that the best value is obtained, particularly where the land or assets concerned had been acquired with direct or indirect public support. See Paragraph 53 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

The income and assets of non-governmental organisations should not be seized or confiscated as a means of preventing them from pursuing admissible objectives. See The Holy Monasteries v. Greece, 9 December 1984, at paras. 86-88.

      Distribution of assets after termination

Any funds or assets left after a non-governmental organisation's liabilities have been cleared following its termination should be passed to a designated successor or, if none has been designated, applied to similar objectives. However, the funds or assets concerned should be passed to the state where the termination was based on the inadmissibility of the organisation's objectives or activities. See Paragraph 56 of the Council of Europe's Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.



back
Submit Information

 

Search

Enter Keyword



Select one or several topic(s)