Freedom of association  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Freedom of association encompasses both an individual's right to join or leave groups voluntarily, and the right of the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members. Freedom of Association, The Essentials of Human Rights describes the right as coming together with other individuals to collectively express, promote, pursue and/or defend common interests. It is both an individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems, including the United States Bill of Rights, article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and international law, including articles 20 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work by the International Labour Organization also ensures these rights.

Freedom of association is manifested through the right to join a trade union, to engage in free speech or to participate in debating societies, political parties, or any other club or association, including religious denominations and organizations, fraternities, and sport clubs. It is closely linked with freedom of assembly, particularly under the U.S. Bill of Rights. Freedom of assembly is typically associated with political contexts, however, and depending on the source, (e.g. the U.S. Constitution, human rights instruments, etc.) the right to freedom of association may include the right to freedom of assembly.

The courts and delegated officers of local jurisdictions may, however, impose restrictions on any of the rights of a convicted criminal as a condition of a legal stipulation. Rights to freedom of association and freedom of assembly are waived under certain circumstances, such as a guilty plea or conviction, restraining orders and probationer's search and seizure procedures.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Freedom of association" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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