National Assembly of Bhutan passes Civil Society Organization Bill

The 87th National Assembly of Bhutan passed the civil society organizations bill on Wednesday 20 June 2007.

According to the Civil Society Organizations act, a civil society organization refers to associations, societies, foundations, charitable trusts, non profit organizations or other entities that are not part of the government and do not distribute any income or profits to their members, founders, donors, directors or trustees.

The civil society organization does not include trade unions, political parties, cooperatives or religious organizations.

The Act will facilitate the establishment of public benefit organizations and mutual benefit organizations to strengthen civil society, promote social welfare, and improve the conditions and quality of life of the people of Bhutan. The Act will also ensure a system of public accountability by providing a framework for responsible and effective self regulation of civil society organizations.

As per the Act, an independent civil society organizations authority will be established and will act as the regulatory authority.

The Civil Society Organizations Act has nineteen chapters including a chapter on code of conduct, breach of trust, legal proceedings and offences and penalty.

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