This policy paper is the production of early work of Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights (FFHR) that aims at influencing the decision-making processes and enriching the debate regarding the rights to freedom of association. Moreover, this paper aims at activating the role of relevant actors – Non-Governmental Organisations – on the Syrian and Kurdish scene, in order to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights to peaceful assembly and association.
Since the foundation of FFHR, it pays particular attention to the legal framework regulating assemblies work, through research and field work, engaging with official and unofficial bodies in order to motivate them to adopt an integrated and fair system based on the principles of justice, equity and non-discrimination, to involve more people in public affair and to guarantee their rights to freedom of associations that reflect and express their orientations and humanitarian and human rights goals.
This is aimed at establishing a comprehensive and just law that regulates the work of associations and civil society organisation and is compatible with international human rights standards and in accordance with article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention; article 5 of the Declaration issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations (Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) which is frequently abbreviated to “The Declaration on human rights defenders”.
The right to freedom of association is located in the intersection between civil and political rights. As a civil right, it grants protection to individuals against arbitrary interference by the State or its private agency when they wish – for whatever reason – to associate or has already associated with others. As a political right, it is an indispensable element for a proper and functioning democracy, since the political interests can be effectively defended only within a collective framework with others .
In this regard, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights emphasises –in Nigerian Bar Association vs. Nigeria case – that “Every individual shall have the right to free association provided he abides by the law. Freedom of association is enunciated as an individual right and is first and foremost a duty for the State to abstain from interfering with the free formation of associations. There must always be a general capacity for citizens to join, without State interference, in associations in order to attain various ends. The competent authorities should not override constitutional provisions or undermine fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and international human rights standards”.
In the Case of Huilca Tecse vs. Peru, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated that “In its individual dimension, freedom of association is not exhausted by the theoretical recognition of the right to form assemblies, but also corresponds, inseparably, to the right to use any appropriate means to exercise this freedom. In its social dimension, freedom of association is a mechanism that allows the members of an assembly to achieve certain objectives together and to obtain benefits for themselves. Moreover, the State must ensure that people can freely exercise their freedom of association without fear of being subjected to some kind of violence; otherwise, the ability of groups to organize themselves to protect their interests could be limited”
In this context, the autonomous government, in the areas under Kurdish control in Syria, For more restrictions and abuse towards people involved in cooperation and working with non-governmental organizations and institutions. The spread of abuse and violation to the same organizations On June 15, 2017 Resolution No. 1 issued by the Commission for Social Affairs and Labor Afrin-Syria, the administration of the Democratic self-boycott, under which pass a solution and the abolition of the license year of organizations, two of whom their status in Turkey and four of them their status in Afrin and so on the support of saying Due to the necessity of public interest in the province and compliance with applicable laws and regulations is.
It is legally interesting that there is no administrative reason for the dissolution of the organizations and the revocation of their authorization. There are legal reasons or even mention the items and numbers of the materials in question. This is why the organizations are between the two pillars of security prosecution and the hammer of the solution and cancellation because of the issuance of a book by the Bureau of Organization Affairs in the Executive Council, which not only decided to dissolve and cancel the six organizations, He did not miss threatening other organizations where the resolution was decided in item II, that in the absence of other organizations and associations work and their duty in full will also be doomed to resolve and revoke; increasingly restricting the right to association and peaceful assembly. the 6 organisations and civil society were closed by an administrative decision on the ground of “they pose security risk”. In the absence of clear legal and judicial mechanisms to appeal and challenge the decision, the situation becomes not only dangerous and disruptive, but also as a declaration of the death of these organisations and as a warning and intimidating message to the organisations that have not been impacted by that decision.
On 15 August 2018, there were media reports that the headquarters of 61 organizations had been closed by the Democratic Self-management. In the absence of legal and judicial mechanisms to challenge the decision to close the organizations, it is dangerous and disruptive. It is a declaration of the death of these organizations and a message of intimidation and intimidation of existing organizations that have not yet reached the sword of closure.
These actions constitute a violation of the reality of public rights and freedoms in areas under the control of self- Democracy and prevent citizens from exercising their right to association. This reflects the negative perception of self-management towards organizations and associations, which do not realize the importance of the pivotal role played by the associations in integration with the institutions of self-management and their various authorities in a large number of jobs and fields, most notably: development and sustainable human development; Energy, rationalization and orientation of its members, ensuring its institutional sustainability and independence, strengthening democracy and its culture, and strengthening civil society.
In light of this negative reality, the initiative of the brotherhood institution for human Rights is the drafting of a policy paper on Decree-Law No. 3 of 2017 Law of Organizations, Associations and Civil Society; as a basic entry point for activating my rights to amend the legislative structure of associations in areas under the control of democratic self-management.
– The right to form associations:
– Legislative and legal instruments
– The Autonomous Democratic Administration
– The right to form associations:
– The limits of permissible restrictions on the right to form association
– Rights related to the right to form association
– The challenges of Syrian civil society: a triangular dilemma (Syria, Kurdish, Turkish)
Restricting the right to freedom of association and the absence of proper legislative drafting processes.
– Initial observations
– The contradiction of the law with the Charter of the Social Contract
– The restrictions on registration and licensing “Extended bureaucracy”:
– Restricting terms for founding members
– Tightening the objectives of organizations
– License withdrawals
– Appeal against the decision of refusing the license
– اFollow up the activities of organizations and associations
– Restrictions on the freedom of movement of associations and civil society organizations
– The coordination, handling, and integration with the competent authorities
– The best practices to promote the freedom of peaceful gathering and the right to form organizations
– The conclusion
Graphic on global and regional standards.
– to the Legislative Assembly and the co-governor of Jazira Canton:
– the Autonomous Democratic Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria
– to the judiciary
– to civil society organizations
Click here to read policy paper on ADANS’s law of the associations in the Northern Syria