Association in Cape Verde

People in Cabo Verde are free to form associations and the civil society sector has developed significantly since political reforms in the early 1990s. The freedom to form associations is guaranteed by Article 27 of the constitution, and regulated through a progressive law on non-profit associations which allows for associations to be both registered and unregistered. The authorities respect these provisions in practice and it is rare for an association’s registration to be refused or cancelled. Cabo Verdean CSOs work on a variety of causes including increasing respect for human rights, environmental protection, combatting drug trafficking and community development. A platform was created in 1996 to advance the interests of formal, registered nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), although Cabo Verde is also home to hundreds of other, less formalised civil society organisations, including community associations, mutual societies and cooperatives. Social movements, including two focussed on youth unemployment and a push for regionalisation, also operate freely and constitute an important part of Cabo Verde’s civil society.