The ability to assemble and act collectively is vital to democratic, economic, social and personal development, to the expression of ideas and to fostering engaged citizenry. Yet despite the increasingly prominent role that assemblies play in today’s world, there is sometimes a lack of clear understanding of the applicable international human rights law and standards.
To provide more clarity, the Human Rights Council requested in 2014 that the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, to prepare a joint report on the proper management of assemblies. That report (A/HRC/31/66) was published in March 2016, and compiled a series of practical recommendations oriented around 10 guiding principles applicable to the proper management of assemblies. The recommendations were based on consultations with over 100 experts and more than 50 UN Member States.
This 10 Principles Checklist is a companion publication to that report, designed as an easy-to-use tool to: (1) determine which practical recommendations contained in the report are already in place at the domestic level, and (2) help assess how well domestic and local authorities manage assemblies.
The checklist contains 100 indicators – categorized under 10 overarching principles – relating to the implementation of the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteurs. These indicators take the entire spectrum of ‘managing an assembly’ into account and include the activities and measures before, during and after an assembly or protest takes place.
Users of this checklist can score their country’s performance on a scale of 1 to 100 by keeping track of the number of indicators that have been implemented (each indicator has an interactive check-box, so the checklist can be used in PDF format). Fillable scoring boxes are included at the end of each chapter, with a final score sheet at the end of the publication. We invite you to Tweet us an image of your score sheet at @Maina_Kiai – or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on how to use the compilation of practical recommendations to advance the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of assemblies, see our 10 Principles Civil Society Guide, which provides suggestions, tools and inspiration on how to push for the implementation of the practical recommendations in their own context.