Infos Togo Draft law on freedom of association in Togo

G8 fears for downgrade of country from ’repressed’ to ’closed’ in civic space

Publié le vendredi 2 avril 2021, par Gabinho

In a workshop with officials of other Togolese civil society organizations since yesterday Tuesday, the member structures of the G8 (Group of 8), through a final communiqué sanctioning the work of this seminar, expressed their deep concern about "the project of modification of the legal framework relating to freedom of association in Togo ”. “The G8 and the participants would like to express their gratitude to the Government and its technical and financial partners who support the activities of associations and civil society organizations in Togo. However, the organizations present deplore the fact that there was no comprehensive inclusive consultation of Togolese associations on the draft law relating to freedom of association in Togo, "the document read. It is also stated, "This draft law on freedom of association in Togo, although innovative, contains articles that compromise the freedom of association. These articles do not conform to international and regional human rights texts ratified by Togo. It intervenes in a context where Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Niger which were downgraded in terms of civic space from the category "obstructed" to "repressed" in 2020 in the CIVICUS report ". Finally, does he fear the effects of this modification given that "the modification of the 1901 law in other African countries such as Burundi, Mauritania, Ethiopia and the Congo is seen as reducing the civil liberties of African civil society ? ". Wouldn’t this change in Togo risk downgrading the country in terms of civic space from "repressed" to "closed" ? That is the big question for the G8 and its partners. Reading !

PRESS RELEASE : SEMINAR OF EXCHANGE AND REFLECTION ON CIVIC SPACE : FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
At the end of the discussion and reflection seminar on civic space in Togo, this Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in Lomé at the initiative of the group of eight organizations (ACAT-Togo, ATDPDH, CJPDH2D, FIT, GRAD, SADD, SYNDEMINES and SYNPHOT on the theme : "The right to freedom of association in Togo : challenges and perspectives", the participants would like through this declaration to express their concerns regarding the proposed modification of the legal framework relating to freedom of association in Togo.
The G8 and the participants would like to express their gratitude to the Government and its technical and financial partners who support the activities of associations and civil society organizations in Togo.
However, the organizations present deplore that there was no comprehensive inclusive consultation of Togolese associations on the draft law on freedom of association in Togo.
This draft law on freedom of association in Togo, although innovative, contains articles that compromise the freedom of association. These articles do not comply with international and regional human rights texts ratified by Togo. It intervenes in a context where Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Niger which were downgraded in terms of civic space from the category "obstructed" to "repressed" in 2020 in the CIVICUS report.
The modification of the 1901 law in other African countries such as Burundi, Mauritania, Ethiopia and the Congo is seen as reducing the civil liberties of African civil society. Wouldn’t this change in Togo risk downgrading the country in terms of civic space from "repressed" to "closed".
This requires that a deep and inclusive reflection be done with the participation of the main actors concerned, which are the associations.
This is why the Group of Eight Organizations and the two day seminar participants recommend :
● To the Government
- To continue by guaranteeing the freedom of association enshrined in the Togolese constitution and international and regional legal instruments.
- Establish a policy of improving civic space by moving Togo from the category of "repressed" to "open".
● To civil society organizations
- To remain mobilized with a view to joining any advocacy process towards the competent authorities
- To learn, train and raise awareness on the right to freedom of association.
● To technical and financial partners
- To continue to support the Government and civil society organizations in the process
In addition, and following this seminar, we will set up a high-level advocacy campaign, in partnership with all Togolese civil society organizations and national institutions that wish and with the support of our
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