States should safeguard the ability of civil society organizations to seek, receive, and use resources, including funding.
- The Human Rights Council (...) 6. Calls upon States to ensure that domestic provisions on funding to civil society actors are in compliance with their international human rights obligations and commitments and are not misused to hinder the work or endanger the safety of civil society actors, and underlines the importance of the ability to solicit, receive and utilize resources for their work.
- Member States should: (…) c. remove any unnecessary, unlawful or arbitrary restrictions to civil society space, in particular with regards to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression.
- Member States should take effective measures to promote civil society space, in particular to: a. ensure access to resources to support the stable funding of human rights defenders, including NHRIs and civil society organisations, and increase efforts to promote their activities.
- The European Parliament, (…) 3. Is deeply concerned that the closing down of civil society space in developing countries is being carried out in increasingly complex and sophisticated ways, which are harder to tackle and imposed through legislation, taxation, funding limitations, increased bureaucracy, reporting and banking requirements, the criminalisation and stigmatisation of CSO representatives, defamation, all forms of harassment, online repression and internet access limitations, censorship, arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, torture and assassination, in particular in conflict-stricken states; insists on the necessity of tackling governmental and non-governmental tactics of marginalising critical voices.
- The European Parliament, (…) 6. Insists that states have the primary responsibility and are under the obligation to protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, and have a duty to provide a political, legal and administrative environment conducive to a free and functioning civil society, in which free and safe operation and access to funding is ensured, including through foreign sources.
- The Assembly calls on all member States to: (...) 10.3 refrain from adopting new laws which would result in unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions or financial burdens on NGO activities; 10.4 ensure that NGOs can seek, receive and use transparent funding and other resources, whether domestic or foreign, without discrimination or undue impediments.
- In the context of the provision of long-term support and resources for civil society organizations, Member States should: (a) Recognizing that undue restrictions to funding is a violation of the right to freedom of association, ensure that civil society actors can seek, receive and use funding and other resources, whether domestic or foreign, without prior authorization or other undue impediments; where no restrictions on the receipt of foreign funds apply to State institutions or businesses, the same should apply to civil society organizations.
- States must allow associations to seek, receive and use foreign funding as a part of their obligation under international human rights law to mobilize resources available within the society as a whole and from the international community.
- States should not resort to tax pressure to discourage associations from receiving funds from abroad. Tax exemption and other privileges for associations should be considered positive examples.
- States can create and maintain an enabling environment for civic activity by investing in the development of civil society, taking measures to build participation capacities, especially for marginalized voices, and facilitating access to diverse funding sources and technology.
- In the context of a supportive legal framework and access to justice, Member States should: (...) (b) Review and repeal or amend all legal provisions that impede the free and independent work of civil society actors; ensure that all legislation affecting their ability to work complies with relevant international human rights laws and standards and with the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
- The ability to seek, receive and use resources is inherent to the right to freedom of association and essential to the existence and effective operations of any association.