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[1(“that everyone will have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection his interests.”

[2No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. (emphasis added) This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.

[3Article 5
For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels:(a) To meet or assemble peacefully;(b) To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups;(c) To communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations.

Article 6
Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others:
- (a) To know, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including having access to information as to how those rights and freedoms are given effect in domestic legislative, judicial or administrative systems;
- (b) As provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
- (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters.

Human Rights Committee General Comment No 31 “States Parties must refrain from violation of the rights recognized by the Covenant and any restrictions on any of those rights must be permissible under the relevant provisions of the Covenant. Where such restrictions are made, States must demonstrate their necessity and only take such measures as are proportionate to the pursuance of legitimate aims in order to ensure continuous and effective protection of Covenant rights. In no case may the restrictions be applied or invoked in a manner that would impair the essence of a Covenant right." (Emphasis added).

[51. The competent authorities should not override constitutional provisions or undermine fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and international standards;

2. In regulating the use of this right, the competent authorities should not enact provisions which would limit the exercise of this freedom;

3. The regulation of the exercise of the right to freedom of association should be consistent with State’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights."


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