Tag - HRC35 ( 8 )

Factsheet | Factsheet: United States of America country visit (July 2016)

Jun 15 2017

The Special Rapporteur’s factsheet summarizing his official visit to the United States of America in July 2016 highlights issues surrounding the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and is presented in an easy-to use “yes/no” format, with hyperlinks to source materials. This factsheet draws heavily from the Special Rapporteur’s report on the United States visit, which was presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2015. It provides details and analysis of: • Problems related to the United States extensive use of a permit system for authorizing peaceful assemblies • The increasingly militarized police response to peaceful assemblies • Discriminatory policing of assemblies held by minority communities • The effect of so-called "right to work" laws on workers' ability to exercise their association rights in the workplace • Restrictions on migrant workers' ability to exercise their assembly and association rights • The US election campaign finance system's impact on association rights • The United States Government's response to the report • And more The factsheet also gives background information on the United States, including vital statistics and its “scorecard” on ratifying key UN human rights treaties. For the Special... Continue reading →

News | Former Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai in Geneva for release of his final United Nations reports

Jun 04 2017

GENEVA – Former United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will be in Geneva June 6-9, 2017, for the release of his final four reports to the Human Rights Council, and for a handful of side-events. The reports – a thematic report mapping the achievements of civil society, country reports on his visits to the United States and the United Kingdom in 2016, and a communications report – will be presented by his successor, Annalisa Ciampi. The new Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association is scheduled to start her interactive dialogue with the Council at 15:00 on June 6. It may continue from 15:00 on June 7 as well. The presentation will take place at the Palais des Nations, Room XX; it will be broadcast live on http://webtv.un.org/. Thematic report: Mapping the achievements of civil society Kiai’s sixth and final thematic report to the Council maps and quantifies the myriad ways in which civil society has improved societies globally in the past decade: protecting civil and political rights, advancing development objectives, moving societies towards freedom and equality, achieving and upholding peace, regulating corporate behaviour, protecting the environment, delivering essential services, and advocating for economic, social and cultural... Continue reading →

Factsheet | Factsheet: Mapping the Achievements of Civil Society (Human Rights Council Report – June 2017)

May 25 2017

The Special Rapporteur’s factsheet summarizing the achievements of civil society over the past decade-plus, presented in an easy-to use “yes/no” format, with hyperlinks to source materials. This factsheet is based on the Special Rapporteur’s 2017 report to the Human Rights Council and features guidance on: • The connection between a vibrant civil society and a country's social, political and economic development. • The connection between civil society and democracy • Civil society's direct economic contributions • "What has civil society done for you lately?" - selected examples of civil society's important recent achievements, taken from the report • And more For the Special Rapporteur’s full factsheet series, please see:... Continue reading →

Report | Imagining a World Without Participation: Mapping the Achievements of Civil Society

May 22 2017

Has civil society made the world a better place? Where and when has civil society made concrete and identifiable achievements? What would the world look like without civil society? These are the central questions that the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, addresses in this, his final thematic report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Throughout history and across cultures, associational life has enabled people to hold the powerful to account, to advocate for – and directly implement – progressive social changes, and to address many of the tensions inherent to collective human action. From the anti-slavery and anti-apartheid movements, to transnational advocacy campaigns against poverty and inequality, to women’s suffrage movements across the globe, to the countless thousands of human rights groups, grassroots and informal associations, and human rights defenders seeking to improve livelihoods and hold governments to account – the transformative power of civil society is seemingly self-evident. However, civil society’s role in changing societies for the better is deeply contested. The space for civil society globally is closing rapidly. In established democracies as well as autocratic regimes and states in... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Issue 27) – April-May 2017

May 03 2017

Issue No. 27 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this our final issue: • Kiai completes term as Rapporteur, hands over mandate to Annalisa Ciampi • A thank you message from former Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai – and news on work yet to come • Kiai launches FOAA Online! – a web-based collection of legal arguments on assembly and association rights • Special Rapporteur files interventions in South Africa and Zimbabwe cases • Venezuela: allow peaceful protests and investigate killing of demonstrators • UN experts urge Russia to drop Jehovah’s Witness lawsuit which threatens religious freedom • Russia: “Immediately release detained peaceful protesters” • UN rights experts urge lawmakers to stop “alarming” trend to curb freedom of assembly in the US • Ahead of referendum, UN experts warn Turkey about impact of purge on rights • UN experts urge United Arab Emirates: “Immediately release Ahmed Mansoor” • Belarus: expert decries of violence against protestors, demands release of all detained • Hungary urged by UN expert to reconsider new law targeting Central European University • Maina Kiai’s Testimony... Continue reading →

Discussion | Discussion: Mapping the history and achievements of civil society over the past decade

Dec 16 2016

The space for civil society globally has shrunk dramatically over the last 10 years. In established democracies as well as in autocratic regimes and states in transition, laws and practices constraining freedoms of association and of peaceful assembly have flourished. Despite this context, civil society has also made numerous significant achievements over the past decade. NGOs, charities, social movements, religious groups, labour unions, journalists, and other civil society groupings have radically improved societies and peoples’ lives across the globe. Civil society has protected and defended civil and political rights, worked to alleviate poverty and advance development objectives, worked to regulate corporate behaviour, protected the environment, and delivered essential services, to name but a few examples. For his final report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur plans to comprehensively codify the achievements and successes of civil society over the last decade. The report is intended to serve as a reminder of just how important civil society is for peace, security, prosperity, social progress and human rights. What’s your opinion and experience? The Special Rapporteur convened an expert consultation to discuss this subject in November 2016 in Bangkok. But he would also... Continue reading →

Report | Country visit: United States of America (A/HRC/35/28/Add.2)

Jul 12 2017

Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai undertook an official mission to the United States of America July 11-27, 2016. The visit was carried out pursuant to his mandate to assess the situation of freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in the country. At a press conference at the end of his visit on July 27, 2016, the Special Rapporteur called the United States "a nation of struggle and resilience," but noted that the country was currently "struggling to live up to its ideals on a number of important issues." The most critical of these issues, he said, were racial, social and economic inequality. Although the focus of his mission was not race or discrimination, the Special Rapporteur said that it was impossible to discuss assembly and association rights without issues of racism pervading the discussions. “Racism and the exclusion, persecution and marginalization that come with it, affect the enabling environment for the exercise of association and assembly rights,” Kiai said, noting that understanding its context means looking back at 400 years of slavery and post-Civil War Jim Crow laws which “enforced segregation and marginalized the African-American community to a life of misery, poverty and persecution.” In more recent times, the Special Rapporteur noted, “old philosophies of... Continue reading →

Discussion | Discussion: A call for information ahead of the Special Rapporteur’s July mission to the United States

Jun 28 2016

If you’ve been following our newsletter, you’re probably aware that Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will be making an official visit to the United States of America from July 11-27, 2016. Kiai is visiting at the invitation of the US Government, so that he can make an in-depth assessment of the country’s promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. The Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials, civil society and others, traveling to Washington, DC, and a number of other cities throughout the country. He’ll then hold a press conference announcing his preliminary findings in Washington, DC, on July 27. The situation surrounding assembly and association rights US presents a number of intriguing and important issues. But the US is also a big country: 50 States, 318 million people and nearly 10 million square kilometers. That makes it hard to cover everything and meet everyone in roughly two weeks. To that end, the mandate is putting out a general call for information ahead of the mission. What are the most pressing issues related to assembly and association rights in the United States at the moment? What issues do you think the Special Rapporteur should look into? What would you like to see covered in the final report? How to submit:... Continue reading →