The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) recommended on Saturday amendments to the draft law that would govern non-governmental organisations (NGO).
The purpose of the workshop was to make recommendations on the NGO law after revising previous drafts made by the government. NCHR recommended changes in articles 1, 3, 9, 20, and 47. Those amendments would, to some extent, address the NGO workers’ concerns about the law.
In Article 1, the NCHR recommended facilitating the process of establishing an NGO and supporting its participation in society. This would help in stimulating voluntary work, as well as providing information that enables NGOs working under the law to complete their work and activities.
It also guarantees the organisations the freedom to establish NGOs in any field, thereby preserving independence without any direct or indirect interference from the authorities.
The NCHR recommends that Article 3, which currently bans NGOs from carrying out other activities or missions not approved of at their headquarters, be amended to allow NGOs to have other legal activities that do not have to be directly related to the NGO’s scope of work. The suggested amendment also extends to allowing residency inside the headquarters.
Moreover, in Article 9, the NCHR suggests that NGO board members share the responsibility of the acts and activities conducted by the organisation.
Civil society members have previously told Daily News Egypt that the current law imposes certain executive regulations that limit volunteer work. For instance, the minister has the right to close NGOs without a court order and approve or reject grants sent to NGOs. According to the members, it is the National Security, and not the minister, that actually makes these decisions.
Members also mentioned that they were unable to receive approval for the registration of their NGOs due to their advocacy work against the state.