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International Standards


This page provides a list of international standards relating to freedom of association, sorted out by topic. Click on 'More' to read the relevant extracts of international tretaties and other documents. In the right-hand column, you will also find full texts of major international standards sorted out by institution.

International Guarantees: General and Specific

International Standards
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 5, 20 and 22
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Articles 4 and 5(d)
European Convention on Human Rights, Articles 11, 16 and 17
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 12
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 20 and 30
Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE, Copenhagen, 29 June 1990, Paras. 9, 10 and 12
Charter of Paris for a New Europe, Paris, 21 November 1990
Concluding Document of Helsinki — The Fourth Follow-up Meeting, Helsinki, 10 July 1992, Para. 7
Document of the OSCE Moscow Meeting, 1991, Para. 43
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144)
Istanbul Document, Istanbul, 19 November 1999, Para. 27
Document of the Eleventh Meeting of the Ministerial Council, Maastricht, 1-2 December 2003, Para. 36
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe
Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 15
European Social Charter, Article 5
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Article 24
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9
Report on Conclusions and Recommendations of the Meeting on the Protection of the Environment of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, Sofia 1989
European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations
Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, Helsinki, 1 August 1975
Concluding Document of Vienna — The Third Follow-up Meeting, Vienna, 15 January 1989, Paras. 12, 13 and 26
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144)

Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 February 2008 at the 1017th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention No. 169), Article 6

UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary (endorsed by General Assembly resolutions 40/32 of 29 November 1985 and 40/146 of 13 December 1985)
Recommendation No. R (94 ) 12 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States On Independence, Efficiency and Role of Judges (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 13 October 1994 at the 516th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
European Charter on the Statute for Judges (Adopted by the participants at a multilateral meeting organised by the Council of Europe between 8-10 July 1998)
Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, 1990, Articles 23, 24 and 25
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Articles 26, 36 and 40
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Articles 3, 7, 8, 15, 17 and 18
Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE, Copenhagen, 29 June 1990, Paras. 30, 32 and 33
Report of the CSCE Meeting of Experts on National Minorities, Geneva, 19 July 1991
Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level
ICCPR General comment No. 23: The rights of minorities (Art. 27) (Fiftieth session, 1994)
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 29
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Article 15
Concluding Document of Helsinki — The Fourth Follow-up Meeting, Helsinki, 10 July 1992
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, Article 6 (b) and (f)
Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, Article 15
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Articles 7 and 14(2)
CEDAW General Recommendation No. 23: Women in Public Life (Chapter I) (Sixteenth session, 1997)
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/64/226, 4 August 2009

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Entities to which International Guarantees Apply

International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe

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Formation

   International Standards

European Convention on Human Rights, Articles 11, 16 and 17
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Articles 36 and 40
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144), Article 5
Convention on the Rights of the Child, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989, Article 5 and 15
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 2, 4, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19

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Membership

   International standards

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 2 (3), 5, 20, 22 and 26
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Articles 4 and 5(d)
European Convention on Human Rights, Articles 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 29
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 9
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 12
Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Articles 2 and 3
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras 2, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23

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Acquisition of Legal Personality and Registration

   International Standards

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), Article 3
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 1, 6, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 47 and 60
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42

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Capacities to be Enjoyed by Non-Governmental Organizations

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 26, 27, 50, 51, 52 and 55
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 8, 9,  24, 25 and 52
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), Articles 2, 4 and 9
Document of the OSCE Moscow Meeting, 1991, para 43
Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE, Copenhagen, 29 June 1990, Paras 9 and 11
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 50, 51 and 55
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 2, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 50 and 51
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144), Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 17

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Objectives and Activities

   International Standards

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 5 and 20
European Convention on Human Rights, Article 17
Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 30
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14  and 15
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144), Articles 8, 17, 18 and 19
Resolution 1373 (2001) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4385th meeting, on 28 September 2001
Resolution 1624 (2005) Adopted by the Security Council at its 5261st meeting, on
14 September 2005
Resolution 1822 (2008) Adopted by the Security Council at its 5928th meeting, on 30 June 2008
Council Common Position of 27 December 2001 on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism
Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism
CERD General Recommendation No. 30: Discrimination against Non Citizens (65th session, 2005)
CERD General Recommendation No 15: Organized violence based on ethnic origin (Art. 4) (42nd session, 1993)
CERD General recommendation XXXI: Prevention of racial discrimination in the administration and functioning of the criminal justice system (Sixty-seventh session, 2005).

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Management And Internal Organisation

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 1, 2, 6, 10, 19, 20, 22, 23, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 68, 70 and 71
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 1, 18,  19, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49

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State Support and Financing

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 6, 8, 57, 58, 59, 60 and 61
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 6, 57, 58 and 59

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Accountability and Supervision

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 7, 10, 26, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74 and 75. 
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 9, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 69 and 71

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Participation in Decision-Making and Law-Making

   International Standards

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), Articles 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8
Amendment to the Convention (adopted at the second meeting of the Parties held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 25-27 May 2005)
Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level, Article 5
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Article 15
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, Articles 5 and 35
United Nations Convention against Corruption, Article 13
Document of the OSCE Moscow Meeting, 1991, Para. 43
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 12, 76 and 77
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78
ICCPR General Comment No. 25: The Right to Participate in Public Affairs, Voting Rights and the Right of Equal Access to Public Service (Art. 25) (Fifty-seventh session, 1996)
Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-making Process (Adopted by the Conference of INGOs at its meeting on 1st October 2009, CODE/PLE(2009)CODE1)
Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 October 2009 at the 1068th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144), Article 8
Almaty Guidelines on Promoting the Application of the  Principles of the Aarhus Convention in International Forums (adopted at the second meeting of the Parties held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 25-27 May 2005)
Riga Declaration (adopted at the third meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention held from 11 to 13 June 2008 in Riga)
European Charter on the Statute for Judges, Article 1.8
The Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life
Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Articles 2 and 3

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Property and Income

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 9, 14, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 4, 13, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, Article 6 (f)
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 13

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Termination and Dissolution

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Para. 44, 56, 71 and 74
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principle 71

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Liability and Sanctions

   International Standards

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 7, 26, 72, 74 and 75
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 24, 70, 71, 72 and 73

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Security and Duty of Protection

   International Standards

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), Article 3
Concluding Document of Vienna — The Third Follow-up Meeting, Vienna, 15 January 1989, Paras. 12, 13 and 26
Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of
the CSCE, Copenhagen, 29 June 1990, Paras 10 and 12
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144), Article 12
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Para. 24
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principle 23
Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 February 2008 at the 1017th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

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Foreign Associations and NGOs

   International Standards

European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations
Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe, Paras. 45, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 and 74
Fundamental Principles on the Status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe, Principles 37, 38 and 65
Document of the Moscow Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE, Moscow, 3 October 1991, para. 43

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Human Rights Defenders

   International Standards

Budapest Document: Towards a genuine Partnership in a New Era (Summit of Heads of State or Government), Budapest 1994
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (General Assembly resolution 53/144)

Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 February 2008 at the 1017th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of
the CSCE, Copenhagen, 29 June 1990, Para. 11
Document of the Moscow Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the
CSCE, Moscow, 3 October 1991, Paras. 42 and 43

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