Freedom of association is considered to be a core civil and political right which is covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
It refers to the right to peaceably assemble, to form societies, clubs and other groups of people, and to meet with people individually, without interference by the government. This right is essential for creating space for civil society. In common-law system the right to associate is assumed to exist, even if it is not codified. In civil-law systems, the right is spelled out.