Association

Chapter 3 of the Constitution upholds the right of association. This right is largely realised, including for trade unions, although the government is sensitive about the expression of political and human rights dissent by civil society and has threatened and harassed CSOs on occasion. In 2016, the Vice Chairperson of the Caprivi Concerned Group reportedly received threats and sought asylum in Botswana; there is a history of intimidation towards Caprivi separatists. Trade unions remain close to the ruling party but have developed more critical distance recently.Civil society has expressed concern about the 2012 Combating and Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act, which contains broad and vague provisions that could be used to restrict human rights. Further, the Research, Science and Technology Act, which came into force in 2011, requires a permit for any research, and as this is defined in very broad terms, could potentially constrain advocacy-oriented research. A Civic Organisations Partnership Policy, produced by the government in 2005, was largely rejected by CSOs on the basis that they did not have input in its development.