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  • Statutes

    Statutes of the Association ‘Human Rights in Masoala’

    Please note that only those paragraphs in the statutes of the association which concern its purpose (§ 2) and activities (§ 3) as well as membership (§ 4) have been translated into English. For the full text of the original German statutes, click here.

    § 2. Purpose

    The association ‘Human Rights in Masoala’ is dedicated to publicising, in Switzerland and elsewhere, the socio-economic, political and cultural situation of the inhabitants of villages on the Masoala peninsula in Madagascar who are directly or indirectly affected by the existence of the Masoala National Park that was inaugurated in 1997. The association’s long-term goal is that the legally binding boundary of the Masoala National Park be re-negotiated and local people’s needs and rights be thereby adequately considered.

    The members of the association share the conviction that:

    • the inhabitants of these villages have the right to a self-determined existence in their villages;
    • the inhabitants of these villages have the right to cultivate land that is theirs according to traditional, locally recognised customary right, and that this right also exists if there exist no legal land ownership documents;
    • the existence of the Masoala National Park does not annihilate these rights.

    § 3. Activities

    The association informs the general public about situations or about actions taken by individuals or organisations that result in the above rights being infringed. This is done in particular but not exclusively through the following activities:

    • The association runs an internet platform where continuously updated information is available. All information is provided, as much as this is possible, in German, English, French and Malagasy.
    • Members of the association speak or otherwise act in public (for example by writing newspaper articles or giving talks) with the aim of explaining and making the association’s concerns and goals known.

    §4. Membership

    a) Any natural or legal person with residence in Switzerland or any other country who supports the association’s goals may become a member. Acceptance of new members is effected by the executive committee.

    b) Membership is possible at any time beginning immediately upon registration as member of the association. Withdrawal of membership is possible as of the end of each calendar year of which the executive committee has to be notified in writing.

    c) If the executive committee is convinced that a person who is seeking to become a member of the association does not support the association’s goals or is not acceptable as a member for other reasons, the executive committee may refuse such a person without specification of the reasons leading to this decision. The same holds for members of the association (immediate exclusion from the association by the executive committee). A member can register a complaint against such exclusion at the occasion of the meeting of members [at least once a year].