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A demonstration organized by Kenyan civil society against the country’s parliament over salary increase for legislators in May 2013. Kenya’s civil society and local NGOs are fighting the government’s proposed amendment to cut foreign funding to 15 percent. Photo by: bwanacollins / CC BY-NC

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Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a crucial role in governance, democratization, development, diffusion of new ideas, social justice, transparency, ensuring equity, etc. A source indicates that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) fall into the category of civil society because they are not operated by the government, are very often reliant on donations, and tend to be comprised of volunteers.

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Civil society organizations (CSOs) can be defined to include all non-market and non-state organizations outside of the family in which people organize themselves to pursue shared interests in the public domain. Examples include community-based organizations and village associations, environmental groups, women’s rights groups, farmers’ associations, faith-based organizations, labor unions, co-operatives, professional associations, chambers of commerce, independent research institutes and the not-for- profit media.

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According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of peaceful assembly and association is a right that every individuals  have to come together forming an association for or not a lucrative goal.  The special rapporteur on the same rights for the United Nations point it out loud and make stresses on the fact that even seeking and utilizing funds should be enjoyed as a right for these associations.  “The freedom of association necessarily includes the right to freely seek, receive and use resources.