Special Resolution on Freedom of Association and Assembly
Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 4, 2010
Written by Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS Secretary General
Last Thursday, there was a major victory for civil society. The UN Human Rights Council passed by unanimous consensus a resolution on “The Rights of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association,” drawing to an end a hard-fought campaign by civil society groups, including the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Article 19, World Movement for Democracy, and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
This is a major win for civil society globally. Freedoms of assembly and association are the key pillars of civil society space and fundamental to our very existence and operations. Currently faced with increasing attacks and shrinking space for its operations, this resolution gives hope that this trend is reversible. We are particularly heartened by the number of nations who supported this resolution (which had a total of 63 co-sponsors), even those whose record in this area are less than ideal.
Among other items, the resolution establishes a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly to monitor and report on violations of these rights. For more information on the resolution, view our joint statement with the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).
CIVICUS contributed to the initial development of this initiative as part of the Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society – a group compromised of both governments and civil society organizations. It then engaged in and supported ongoing advocacy activities, in Geneva, South Africa and around the world up until the final vote at the Human Rights Council. From beginning to end, the adoption of this resolution clearly demonstrates the power of state-civil society partnerships.
CIVICUS would like to thank its members, partners and the many others who worked tirelessly with us to advocate for this resolution. It is a clear example of how civil society, pulling together, can achieve real results.
Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS Secretary General