Print   

LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKSTAN ON SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS (31 May 1996) (unofficial translation)

The right of freedom to association is constitutional and is one of the most important rights of the citizen and person; the realization of this right is in the interests of society and is under the protection of the state.

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. The Subject of Regulation of This Law

The subject of regulation of this Law is the social relations arising in connection with the exercise by citizens of the Republic of Kazakstan of the right to association and the formation, operation, reorganization and/or liquidation of social associations.

Article 2. Definition of Social Association

A social association in the Republic of Kazakstan is acknowledged to be any political party, trade union, or other association of citizens formed on a voluntary basis for the achievement of common goals not contrary to legislation. Social associations are non-commercial organizations.

Article 3. Legislation on Social Associations

Legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan on social associations is founded upon the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakstan and consists of this Law and other legislative acts not contrary to this law or the Constitution.

The authority of this Federal Law extends to all social associations formed on the initiative of citizens, with the exception of religious organizations and territorial local self-government and social self-activity organizations, whose procedures of formation and activities are determined by other legal acts.

The authority of this Law extends to the activities of subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) formed and operating on the territory of the Republic of Kazakstan of foreign and international non-commercial nongovernmental non-religious associations.

If an international legal act ratified by the Republic of Kazakstan establishes different rules than those contained in this Law, the rules of the international act take precedence.

Particulars connected with the formation, operations, reorganization, and liquidation of political parties, trade unions, and other specific types of social associations may be regulated by other laws. The operations of the indicated social association, if they are not regulated by other laws, are regulated by this Law.

Article 4. The State and Social Associations

The state ensures compliance with the rights and lawful interests of social associations.

Not allowed is the merger of social and state institutions, the unlawful intercession of the state into the affairs of social associations or of social associations into the affairs of state, the assignment of the functions of a state agency to a social association, or state funding of a social association.

Social associations may collaborate and cooperate with state agencies and conclude agreements with them, and they may do certain work, anticipated by legislation, under contract with state agencies.

The legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan on labor, social protection, and social insurance is extended to the paid administrative employees of social associations.

In certain situations anticipated by law, issues affecting the interests of social associations may be resolved by state organizations in coordination with social associations.

Article 5. The Foundations of the Activity of Social Associations

Social associations are formed and operated with the goal of exercising and protecting political, economic, social, and cultural rights and freedoms, developing the activeness and individual initiatives of citizens; satisfying professional and amateur interests; developing scientific, technical, and artistic creativity; protecting the lives and health of the population; protecting the natural environment; participating in charitable activities; carrying out cultural awareness, physical fitness, and athletic work; protecting historical and cultural monuments; patriotic and humanistic education; expanding and strengthening international cooperation; and carrying out other activities not prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Not allowed is the formation or operation of a social association whose goals or actions are directed toward violent change in the constitutional order, destruction of the unity of the Republic of Kazakstan, undermining state security, exacerbating of social, racial, national, religious, class, or tribal animosities, or forming militaristic formations not anticipated by legislation.

On the territory of the Republic of Kazakstan, it is not allowed to form social associations that are modeled after militaristic formations or that have a military structure, form, specialized medals, hymns, flags, pennants, special conditions of internal discipline and governance, or weapons, imitation or otherwise.

Not allowed are the political parties and trade unions of other states, parties with religious platforms, or the financing of political parties and trade unions by international organizations, or foreign legal persons, individuals, or states.

Not allowed is the formation or operation of a social association that infringes on the health or moral foundations of the citizenry, nor are unregistered social associations allowed to operate.

Article 6. The Principles of Forming and Operating a Social Association

Social associations are equal before the law. Social associations operate within the framework of the Constitution and other laws of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Social associations are formed and operated on the basis of voluntarism, equal rights of the members (participants), self-government, legality, accountability, and openness of operations.

The participation or non-participation of a citizen in the activities of a social association may not serve as a reason for limitation of her or his rights and freedoms. No requirement to indicate membership or participation in a social association on official documents is allowed.

Article 7. The Status of Social Associations

Republican, regional, and local social associations may form and operate in the Republic of Kazakstan.

Republican social associations are associations which have subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) on the territories of more than half the regions of the Republic of Kazakstan. Regional and Almaty City social associations are associations which have subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) on the territories of less than half the regions of the Republic of Kazakstan. Local social associations are associations operating within the borders of one region of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Within one year after the date of its registration, a republican or regional social association, in order to affirm its status, is obligated to provide the agency that registered that association with copies of documents confirming the registration of its subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) in the territorial justice agencies.

Article 8. Unions of Social Associations

Social associations formed and registered under established procedures, regardless of their type, have the right to form unions of social associations on the basis of founding agreements and charters adopted by those unions, thereby forming new legal persons. They also have the right to become participants in international unions.

The procedures for the operation of and state registration of unions of social associations, including international unions of social associations, are determined in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Article 9. The Operations of International and Foreign Non-Commercial Nongovernmental Associations on the Territory of the Republic of Kazakstan

The subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) of international and foreign non-commercial nongovernmental associations may form and operate in the Republic of Kazakstan.

The subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) of international and foreign non-commercial nongovernmental associations are governed by their charters as long as they are not contrary to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

CHAPTER 2. THE FORMATION, REORGANIZATION, AND LIQUIDATION OF SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS

Article 10. The Formation of Social Associations

A social association is formed on the initiative of a group of no less than ten individuals who are citizens of the Republic of Kazakstan and convene a founding convention (conference, meeting) at which a charter is adopted and governing bodies are formed.

The legal subjectivity of a social association as a legal person arises at the moment that it is registered through the procedures established by the laws of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Article 11. Membership and Participation in Social Associations

Citizens of the Republic of Kazakstan may be members (participants) of social associations. Except in the case of political parties, membership for (participation by) foreign citizens or stateless persons may be anticipated in the charters of social associations.

Members of youth social associations existing under the auspices of political parties must be citizens who have reached sixteen years of age. The ages of members of other social youth and children's associations are determined by these associations' charters.

The methods and procedures for attaining and losing membership are determined by the charter of a social association.

Military personnel, employees of national security and law enforcement agencies, and judges may not belong to political parties or trade unions or express support for any political party.

Article 12. The Charter of a Social Association

The charter of a social association should contain:

1. the name, the sphere, and the goals of the activity of the social association;

2. the membership (participation); the methods and procedures for acquiring and losing membership and the rights and obligations of members (participants) of the social association;

3. the organizational structure of the social association, the legal status of its subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives), and the territorial limits in which it carries out its activities;

4. the means and method of forming governing bodies of the social association and their authority and tenure, as well as the location of the constantly operating governing body of the social association;

5. the sources of capital and other property of the social association and the rights of the social association and its subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) with regard to managing this property;

6. the procedures through which amendments and additions can be made to the charter of the social association;

7. the procedures for reorganizing and liquidating the social association, and the fate of its property in the event of liquidation of the social association.

The charter may anticipate other provisions relevant to the work of the social association, as long as these provisions are not contrary to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

The convention (conference, meeting) of the social association, as the highest body, has exclusive authority for adopting, amending, and adding to the charter.

Article 13. State Registration and Re-Registration of a Social Association

The state registration of republican and regional social associations and of the subordinate structures of (affiliates and representatives) of foreign and international non-commercial nongovernmental associations is conducted by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakstan.

The state registration of local social associations and of affiliates and representatives is conducted by territorial justice agencies.

The state registration and re-registration of social associations occurs in accordance with the procedures and time limits anticipated by legislation on the state registration of legal persons.

In order to register, a social association submits, within two months after the date of its formation, an application to a registering agency.

The application must be accompanied by the charter, the minutes of the founding convention (conference, meeting) which adopted the charter, information about the initiators of the formation of the association and about the members of the governing body, documents attesting to the status and legal address of the social association, and payment of the registration fee.

Failure to meet the established deadline for submission of an application to register a social association may, for valid reasons, be excused and the deadline extended by the registering agency.

In the circumstances anticipated by legislation, a social association is subject to re-registration.

For registering and re-registering social associations, registration fees are levied through the procedures and in the amounts established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Article 14. Registration of Affiliates and Representatives of Social Associations

The subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) of social associations are subject to registration. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakstan registers the affiliates and representatives of foreign and international non-commercial nongovernmental associations. Territorial justice agencies register the affiliates and representatives of social associations. The procedures and time limits for this registration are regulated by legislation on the registration of legal persons.

Article 15. Breaks in the Deadline for State Registration

There is a break in the deadline for state registration in the event of an inspection of the founding documents, a verification of the list of members of a political party, or for a reason indicated in the laws concerning the state registration of legal persons.

Article 16. Denial of State Registration

A denial to register a social association or its subordinate structure (affiliate or representative) is carried out in accordance with legislation on the state registration of legal persons. A denial to register may be appealed through judicial proceedings.

Article 17. Reorganization or Liquidation of a Social Association

The reorganization of a social association (merger, annexation, division, allocation, or transformation) is carried out on the decision of the governing body of that social association through the procedures anticipated in its charter and the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

The liquidation of a social association is carried out for the reasons and through the procedures anticipated by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Article 18. The Symbols of a Social Association

Social associations may have their own symbols (flags, hymns, emblems, pennants, and pins) as long as they are not contrary to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan. Social associations do not have the right to employ as their own symbols the state symbols of the Republic of Kazakstan and other states.

Descriptions and sketches of the symbols of a social association are attached to the charter.

CHAPTER 3. THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF A SOCIAL ASSOCIATION THE PROPERTY OF A SOCIAL ASSOCIATION

Article 19. The Rights and Obligations of a Social Association

Social associations acquire rights and assume obligations through their governing bodies which operate within the boundaries of the powers granted to them by their charter and the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

In order to meet their chartered goals, social associations, through the procedures established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan, have the right to:

distribute information about their activities;

represent and protect the rights and lawful interests of their members in courts and other state agencies and social associations;

found mass media;

conduct meetings, protests, demonstrations, marches, and pickets;

conduct publishing activities;

join international non-commercial nongovernmental associations;

exercise other powers not contrary to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

A social association is obligated to:

comply with the norms anticipated in its charter and with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan;

ensure its members the possibility of acquainting themselves with documents and decisions affecting their rights and interests;

inform its members about monetary receipts an expenses;

inform the registering agency about changes in the location of the social association's constantly operating governing body and provide information about the social association's officers in the same detail as that listed in the unified state register.

Article 20. Entrepreneurial Activities of Social Associations

Social associations may engage in entrepreneurial activity only insofar as doing so furthers achievement of the chartered goals. The entrepreneurial activity of social associations is conducted in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Profits from the entrepreneurial activities of social associations are subject to taxation in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Profits from the entrepreneurial activities of social associations may not be distributed among members (participants) of the social association, but should be used to further achievement of the chartered goals. Social associations are permitted to use their resources for charitable purposes.

Article 21. The Property of Social Associations

The property of a social association consists of objects necessary for the material support of activities anticipated by the charter, with the exception of objects prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

The monetary assets of a social association are formed from entrance and membership fees if such payments are anticipated by the charter, from voluntary donations and contributions, from receipts from the holding of, in accordance with the charter, lectures, exhibits, lotteries, and athletic and other events, from the profits of production or other economic activity, and from other receipts not prohibited by the law.

The members (participants) of a social association do not have the right to property transferred by them to the social association, including membership fees. They are not responsible for the obligations of a social association in which they are involved as a member (participant), and a social association is not responsible for the obligations of its members (participants).

The property of social associations is protected by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

 

CHAPTER 4. LIABILITY FOR VIOLATION OF LEGISLATION ON SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS

Article 22. Liability for Violation of Legislation on Social Associations

Violation of legislation on social associations incurs liability in the manner anticipated by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan.

Liability for violation of legislation on social associations is carried by guilty natural and legal persons, including officials in state agencies and persons who are members of the governing body of a social association.

Article 23. Suspension of the Operations of a Social Association

A court may suspend the operations of a social association for a period of between three to six months on the basis of a petition by procuracy or internal affairs agencies or on the application of citizens in the event of a violation of the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Kazakstan or for that social association's repeated commission of acts that are outside the goals and objectives determined by its charter.

In the event that a social association's operations are suspended, that social association may not use any mass media, conduct agitation or propaganda, hold protests, demonstrations, or other mass activities, or take part in elections. Likewise suspended are its rights to use its bank accounts, except for payments under labor contracts, compensation for harms suffered as the result of its operations, and payment of fines.

If during the period of time for suspension of its operations, a social association removes the violation that was the reason for suspension of its operations, then after the end of the indicated suspension period, that social association resumes its operations. In the event that a social association fails to remove a violation, procuracy and internal affairs agencies, as well as citizens, have the right to file a petition with the court for that social association's liquidation.

 

CHAPTER 5. FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 24. International Communications of Social Associations

In accordance with their charters, social associations of the Republic of Kazakstan may maintain international communications, conclude corresponding agreements, and join, as collective members, international non-commercial nongovernmental non-religious associations.

Social associations of the Republic of Kazakstan may form their subordinate structures (affiliates and representatives) in foreign states on the basis of generally recognized principles and norms of international law, international treaties, and the legislation of the corresponding states.