Tag - HRC35 ( 5 )

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 →

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 →