These reports are published independently by the Special Rapporteur and summarize the previous year’s events from the perspective of assembly and association rights. Their content does not reflect the official position of the United Nations.
By nearly any standard and in virtually every corner of the globe, 2016 was one of the most tumultuous years the world has seen since the end of the Cold War. Headline after headline brought us news of political upheaval, war, terrorism, health crises, endemic corruption, environmental disaster, economic turmoil and more. The pace and magnitude of the change and adversity was, at times – to use Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year – “surreal.” But there was another side to this story, one with a much more hopeful tone: Despite its myriad… Continue reading →
The events of 2015 unfolded as another epic, global tug-of-war over the role that assembly and association rights play in our world today. At certain times and in some places, they appeared inexorable – the lifeblood of citizen movements and a vehicle for the voices of ordinary people. At others, they were under siege, on the verge of going extinct. On the one hand, the year saw an emphatic continuation of the global trend of massive protest movements. Activists in dozens of countries successfully harnessed public discontent, drew unprecedented… Continue reading →
Two thousand fourteen proved to be a year of monumental developments in the area of assembly and association rights, though the direction of change was rarely positive. Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela all witnessed massive political and social upheaval spurred by popular protests – but in some instances, these movements were followed by increased restrictions on assembly and association rights. Civil society organizations across the world continued to face a wave of restrictive new laws, often targeting disfavored groups… Continue reading →