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Upcoming General Comment on the right to peaceful assembly

The UN Human Rights Committee is currently working on a General Comment on Article 21 (Right of Peaceful Assembly) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Through General Comments, the Committee provides authoritative interpretations of individual rights and guidance for their practical implementation. This strengthens the safeguards needed for the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms.

As part of the drafting, the Human Rights Committee held a half-day general discussion on March 20 in Geneva and invited members of civil society, academia and international organizations to participate. For more information on the background, please visit the Committee’s website.

Christof Heyns, the Committee’s Special Rapporteur tasked with drafting the General Comment, prepared a Note, which contains illustrative questions and main aspects for the discussion. Click here to read it.

As an outcome of the discussion, the Special Rapporteur will produce a draft of the General Comment, to be presented to the Committee for a first reading during its July session. ECNL, together with its Civic Space Initiative partners, looks forward to engaging with the Committee and other interested stakeholders to support the upcoming steps of the process.

To find out why we consider such a General Comment essential, read our earlier press release.

For a compilation of key principles elaborated in the Committee’s freedom
of assembly jurisprudence and relevant declarative statements in the Committee’s Concluding
Observations on State reports, see the report below: