Human Rights Organizations from Across the Globe Call on UN to Protect Human Rights in the Context of Social Protest

March 20, 2013 GENEVA – As the United Nation’s Human Rights Council prepares to debate a draft motion on social protest, human rights organizations from around the world have joined their voices to call on the UN to provide meaningful protection for this essential democratic right.

On March 7, a letter signed by nine national organizations spanning five continents was sent to the Member States of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Democracies must welcome diverse forms of public participation.  Such activities must be actively facilitated by states if they are to comply with their obligations to protect, respect and fulfill international human rights.

The signatory organizations welcome the renewed and increased attention to freedom of peaceful assembly and the protection of human rights, including freedom of association, expression and opinion, in the broader context of social protest. As domestically-focused actors with decades of experience monitoring policing and protest, we have seen first hand the diverse and multiple facets of the right to peaceful assembly and rights within the context of social protest more broadly.  Although our individual domestic experiences stem from diverse political contexts and legal systems, we are united by our conviction that public protest is an essential component of any vibrant democracy. We are also united by our concern for the protection of this fundamental right.

The draft resolution, “The promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests”, is being debated in Geneva and is scheduled for adoption at the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council.

The civil society organizations that have signed the letter are:

American Civil Liberties Union – ACLU (USA)

Association for Civil Rights in Israel - ACRI (Israel)

Canadian Civil Liberties Association - CCLA (Canada)

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales - CELS (Argentina)

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights - EIPR (Egypt)

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union - HCLU (Hungary)

Irish Council for Civil Liberties - ICCL (Ireland)

Legal Resource Centre - LRC (South Africa)

Liberty (UK)

Share

Related articles

Open letter of HCLU and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

HCLU and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee have jointly written an open letter to the Minister of Justice and Law Enforcement, President of The Supreme Court and to the State Attorney regarding police abuses during the recent riots and demonstrations in Budapest.

Pride is Free, Court Puts Police Back in Its Place

On 23 April the Tribunal of the Capiptal overruled and repealed the decision of the Budapest Police Chief, which had previously banned the Budapest Pride March. Similarly to last year, the court accepted the arguments of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union's lawyer and rejected the 13-page-long justification of the police. The court ruled that there is no valid legal reason to prohibit the Pride March on the announced route.

Invitation to HCLU Press Conference

The HCLU will hold a press conference on findings of police practices during September and October 23rd, 2006