Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Definitions of the right to freedom of assembly and association

Instruments for individual human rights complaints

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948 signalled the beginning of a progressive deepening of the global human rights regime. Through a sequence of human rights conventions at the global and regional scale, is has become ever more clear, which human rights apply to all human beings – and which need to be cast with even more care for vulnerable groups such as children or persons with disabilitities.

At the same time, the UN as well as regional organizations have established concrete procedures for individuals, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and human rights defenders to claim human rights in cases where they have been violated. In general, the procedures are similar: They may only be invoked in cases where national means of legal remedy have been exploited, they may not be anonymous, they must present sound factual information etc.

Definitions of the right to freedom of assembly and association

The right to freedom of association and assembly is enshrined in
Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The right is enshrined in Articles 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

Article 21
The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 22
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.
3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice, or to apply the law in such a manner as to prejudice, the guarantees provided for in that Convention.

Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association is enshrined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In cases of violations of this human right (explained here),

All persons may turn to the these organs/institutions:

Human Rights Committee (if the optional protocol is ratified by the state)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Children under 18 years may turn to:

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Migrants may turn to:

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

Indigenous people may turn to:

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people

Teachers, students, researchers, artists, writers, journalists may turn to:

UNESCO (Committee on Conventions and Recommendations)

In the context of employment and profession:

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Persons being in an African country may turn to:

African Commission or Court on Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights

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4 responses

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