Tag - United States of America ( 9 )

News | Largest confederation of US labor unions awards Maina Kiai its 2016 award for human rights

Dec 13 2014

NAIROBI/WASHINGTON – Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has been named the recipient of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations’ (AFL–CIO) 2016 human rights award, and will be in Washington, DC, to accept the honor on Dec. 14, 2016. The annual prize – known officially as the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award – was created in 1980 to recognize outstanding examples of the international struggle for human rights through trade unions. It is named for the first two presidents of the AFL-CIO. Kiai, who is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, is receiving the honor “in recognition of his dedication to and effectiveness in highlighting the widespread denial of fundamental human rights at work and in society.” The Special Rapporteur has made the issue of assembly and association rights in the workplace a central theme of his mandate, focusing on the subject in his 2016 report to the General Assembly and addressing labor issues extensively during his official visits to UN Member States. “It is a singular honor to receive the 2016 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award – not only because of its stature, but also because it comes from the labor rights community,” Kiai... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Issue 24) – October-November 2016

Nov 14 2016

Issue No. 24 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 issue: • In final presentation to UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur reflects on time in mandate; warns that situation for civil society remains ‘precarious’ • Corporate power undermining workers’ assembly and association rights, Kiai warns • Litigation project: Developments in cases in Kazakhstan, Brazil and USA • UN experts urge India to release prominent Kashmiri human rights defender • Democratic Republic of Congo: experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests • Ethiopia: call for international investigation into systematic violence against protesters • Maina Kiai’s Foreword to the Civic Charter: the Framework for People’s Participation • Experts blast Kenya for excessive force against anti-corruption protesters • Mauritania: UN experts concerned about situation of jailed rights activists • Egypt NGO law: Special Rapporteur Kiai warns about growing restrictions on civil society • Iran: UN expert Shaheed calls for the immediate release of dual nationals • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 6 (Issue 23) – September-October 2016

Oct 07 2016

Issue No. 23 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 issue: • Kiai to present final report to UN General Assembly, examining assembly and association rights in the workplace • The 10 principles checklist: rate your country’s management of assemblies • South Korea: Kiai calls for investigation into lethal use of water cannon • Jordan: UN rights expert Kaye condemns killing of journalist Nahed Hattar • Sudan: Charges against rights activists could bring death penalty • DR Congo: UN experts deeply condemn new violent repression of protests • Ecuador: UN rights experts condemn ‘legal death’ of prominent teachers association UNE • USA: “Indigenous peoples must be consulted prior to pipeline construction” • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: September-October 2016 • World briefing: Assembly & association rights in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (5MB file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent... Continue reading →

News | North Dakota: “Indigenous peoples must be consulted prior to oil pipeline construction” – UN expert

Sep 23 2016

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, today called on the United States to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as it poses a significant risk to the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and threatens to destroy their burial grounds and sacred sites. Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has endorsed her call, along with a number of other UN experts. Ms. Tauli-Corpuz’s call comes after a temporary halt to construction and the recognition of the need to hold ‘government-to-government consultations’ made by the US Departments of the Army, Justice and of the Interior. The 1,172 mile (1,890 km) pipeline is being built by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Energy Transfer LLC Corporation. “The tribe was denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project and environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation,” the expert stressed. “The United States should, in accordance with its commitment to implement the Declaration on the rights on indigenous peoples*, consult with the affected communities in good faith and ensure their free, and informed consent prior to the approval of any project... Continue reading →

Report | Country visit: United States of America (A/HRC/35/28/Add.2 – coming June 2017)

Jul 12 2017

Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai undertook an official mission to the United States of America July 11-27, 2017. 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 →

News | USA: Inequality casts dark shadow over exercise of assembly and association rights, UN expert says

Jul 28 2016

GENEVA / WASHINGTON, DC – The United States of America is struggling to live up to its ideals in the area of racial, social and economic inequality, which is having a negative impact upon the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, United Nations human rights expert Maina Kiai said at the end of his first official fact-finding mission to the country. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association singled out race as a particularly pernicious issue. He emphasised that while his mandate does not cover racial discrimination, it was impossible carry out his mission “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,” Mr. 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 exclusion and discrimination were reborn, cloaked in new and euphemistic terms,” such as the so-called “War on... Continue reading →

News | Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association at the conclusion of his visit to the United States of America

Jul 27 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – First let me thank the Government of the United States of America for inviting me to undertake this official mission here from 11 to 27 July 2016. I would also like to thank the Government for its cooperation in organizing the mission, which was extremely fruitful, illuminating and timely. I had productive exchanges with numerous officials at the federal, state and local levels. I appreciate their contributions and inputs which have greatly assisted me in better understanding the situation regarding the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the United States today. Let me also thank the US Government for the crucial role it played in establishing and renewing my mandate and its consistent support for it at the UN Human Rights Council. I also commend the US for the key role it has played at the Council in general, including in relation to the adoption of resolutions on peaceful protests, civic space, LGBT rights and many more issues. During my visit, I have met with hundreds of activists and individuals representing a wide range of perspectives, observed a number of protests at the Republican and Democratic national conventions, and more. I want to thank everyone who took the time to meet with me and share their stories. The diversity, energy and dedication... Continue reading →

News | Freedoms of assembly and association: UN expert announces first official visit to the USA

Jul 07 2016

WASHINGTON / GENEVA – United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will visit the United States of America from 11 to 27 July 2016 to make an in-depth assessment on the extent to which the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enjoyed in the country. Mr. Kiai’s visit will be the first information-gathering mission to the United States by an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide. “The United States was the main driving force behind the establishment of my mandate in 2010, and its recent renewal for another period of three years,” the expert noted. “This visit will give me an unique opportunity to gather first-hand information on any good practices developed at the federal and state level in relation to the exercise of the rights falling under my mandate, but also to examine existing challenges in this regard, and advise the authorities how to overcome these”, he said. During his sixteen-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur will travel to Washington DC; New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Ferguson, MO; Cleveland, OH; Phoenix, AZ; New Orleans, LA; Jackson, MS; and Philadelphia, PA, where he will meet with... 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 →