Draft Civil Societies Proclamation Discussed by Professionals, Representatives of Associations

Addis Ababa A draft proclamation that replaces the Charities and Societies Proclamation in place was presented for discussion today to 400 professionals and representatives of various associations and institutions.

The Legal and Justice Affairs Advisory Council, which presented the draft Civil Societies Proclamation, will take the feedback into consideration and submit it to the Office of the Attorney General, it was learned.

Legal and Justice Affairs Advisory Council Chairman, Professor Tilahun Teshome told ENA that the main things that initiated the revision of the proclamation included public grievances and the incompatibility of the proclamation with the provisions of the Constitution.

The proclamation has been raising public grievances for lack of constitutional compatibility and upholding restricting provisions for creating vibrant civil societies, he said.

According to him, the most important constitutional principle to take into account is article 31 which provides the right to freedom of association.

So the government felt that many of the working procedures and provisions in Charities and Societies Proclamation are not supportive of people's rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of organization, Professor Tilahun noted.

Ethiopian Charities and Societies Forum Chairman, Negash Tikue said the government is encouraging us to solve obstacles in the Charities and Societies Proclamation through bottom up approach with the concerned bodies to ensure inclusivity.

Negash added that restrictions in registration and licensing of civic societies were noticed. The Agency has shown limitations in terms of capacity building and restricting every activity and self administration of organizations.

The draft Civil Societies Proclamation will also be discussed with more than 1600 professionals and representatives drawn from various associations and institutions in regions.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency