The Thesis examines of one of the trending CSOs/NGO laws in the developing world, the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Law. More specifically, it assesses the various measures in the law that seem at odds with the freedom of association and other basic principles.
The Charities and Societies Law provides stringent requirements for formation as well as operation of CSOs. It prohibits citizens to associate with foreign resident nationals and foreigners especially to carry out human rights and democracy advocacy, it requires representation from or work places in more than half of the Regional States to form nationwide CSOs, limits foreign aid to human rights and advocacy CSOs only to 10% of their income, provides mandatory and cumbersome registration system, grants virtually unlimited power to the administrative agency such as suspension and dissolution of CSOs on numerous vague and broad grounds and removal CSOs personnel, imposes multiple reporting obligations on CSOs and denies court access to majority of CSOs. These and other measures in the law deeply offend the freedom of association and threaten the survival of CSOs, human rights work and the democratization process in the country.