A Successful Consultation on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association in the Digital Space

29 October 2018

In the framework of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Geneva Academy co-hosted with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) a consultation between the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Voule, and delegates from civil society organizations and NGOs.

The event brought together 32 participants from the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to share experiences and insights on exercising and protecting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the digital space.

Informing the Next Report of the UN Special Rapporteur

Over four sessions held at the Geneva Academy the participants discussed a broad range of topics, including the notions and definitions of the rights as they apply to the digital space: freedom of assembly and association in facilitating the enjoyment of other human rights; the monitoring and surveillance of online activities, jurisdiction and territorial reach of such measures; and the responsibilities of businesses and other parties beyond the primary responsibility of the state.

The consultation proved useful to the UN Special Rapporteur. ‘Thanks to the participants' insightful inputs and testimonies, I have now a better sense of the various ways that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are impeded online’ underlines Clément Voule. ‘These experiences will shape my recommendations to relevant stakeholders’.

Further consultations to facilitate and inform the next report of Clément Voule are being scheduled to take place between December 2018 and January 2019. They will be held in Silicon Valley (United States) and Bangkok, Thailand, with a final event to be hosted in South America.

Consultation on freedom of assembly and of association online group photo

About the Geneva Human Rights Platform

The Geneva Human Rights Platform (HRP) provides a neutral and dynamic forum of interaction in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights – experts, practitioners, diplomats and civil society – to discuss and debate topical issues and challenges. Relying on academic research and findings, it works to enable various actors to be better connected, break silos, and, hence, advance human rights.

The Geneva Human Rights Platform notably focuses on current human rights challenges related to the digital age.

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