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Article Tunisia: Draft Law Proposed to Regulate the Work and Funding of Nongovernmental Organizations Operating in the Country

On February 28, 2024, members of the Commission of Rights and Freedoms of the Tunisian parliament met to discuss a new draft law that would regulate the work and funding of nongovernmental organizations operating in the country. The draft law would replace Law No. 88 of 2011 on regulating the work of nongovernmental organizations.

Explanatory Memorandum

According to the explanatory memorandum for the draft law, the new law would be in conformity with the Tunisian Constitution of 2022 and assert the constitutional principle of sovereignty of the Tunisian state. The memorandum also states that the new law would impose more regulations on the foreign funding offered to nongovernmental organizations and regulate their work on Tunisian soil.

Content of the Draft Law

Work of Nongovernmental Organizations

The new draft law would regulate the work and activities of all foreign and national nongovernmental organizations in Tunisia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be the designated government body in charge of allowing the work of foreign nongovernmental organizations operating in the country.

The draft law would prohibit nongovernmental organizations from establishing any relationship with the State of Israel. It would also ban nongovernmental organizations from spreading any ideas that threatened the public morals of the Tunisian society or public order. Moreover, the draft law would require nongovernment organizations to respect the republican regime and the principle of the national unity of Tunisia. Additionally, it would forbid the establishment of nongovernmental organizations for sectarian and religious purposes.

The draft law would grant any Tunisian citizen the right to file a complaint before the public prosecution challenging the work of a nongovernmental organization. The complaint would have to be grounded on violations of the draft law’s provisions.

Funding of Nongovernmental Organizations

The new draft law would limit any foreign influence that may occur via the funding of nongovernmental organizations. In accordance with the new draft law, nongovernmental organizations would have to seek the prior approval of the Tunisian authorities before receiving any type of foreign funding. Foreign funding for the purpose of humanitarian work would be the only type of funding allowed under the new draft law. The draft law would subject all bank accounts and financial transactions of nongovernmental to supervision by the Central Bank of Tunisia.

Sanctions

The draft law would punish nongovernmental organizations that violated its provisions. To illustrate, the Tunisian authorities would have the right to suspend the work of the organization temporarily. If a nongovernment organization continued to violate the requirements of the draft law, the Tunisian government would have the right to cancel the license granted to the nongovernmental organization to operate in Tunisia.

Furthermore, the draft law would grant the Tunisian government the right to impose fines on nongovernmental organization that violated the law. The fines would range from 5,000 to 50,000 Tunisian dinars (about US$1,613 to $16,126). The law would also impose the same fines on managers, administrators, and directors of the violator nongovernmental organizations.

George Sadek, Law Library of Congress
April 4, 2024

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Chicago citation style:

Sadek, George. Tunisia: Draft Law Proposed to Regulate the Work and Funding of Nongovernmental Organizations Operating in the Country. 2024. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-03/tunisia-draft-law-proposed-to-regulate-the-work-and-funding-of-nongovernmental-organizations-operating-in-the-country/.

APA citation style:

Sadek, G. (2024) Tunisia: Draft Law Proposed to Regulate the Work and Funding of Nongovernmental Organizations Operating in the Country. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-03/tunisia-draft-law-proposed-to-regulate-the-work-and-funding-of-nongovernmental-organizations-operating-in-the-country/.

MLA citation style:

Sadek, George. Tunisia: Draft Law Proposed to Regulate the Work and Funding of Nongovernmental Organizations Operating in the Country. 2024. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-03/tunisia-draft-law-proposed-to-regulate-the-work-and-funding-of-nongovernmental-organizations-operating-in-the-country/>.