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Peaceful (and not so peaceful) assemblies: Global webinar on 16 December to discuss latest international standards

GENEVA (14 December 2020) – The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) and the University of Pretoria in South Africa will jointly hold a global webinar on 16 December to raise awareness on two new international instruments relating to the right of peaceful assembly.

During 2020, the United Nations issued two new international instruments on peaceful assembly. The Human Rights Committee’s General Comment provides legal guidance that defines assemblies as both physical meetings and virtual gatherings, and outlines governments’ obligations to facilitate peaceful assemblies.  The UN Human Rights Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement provides guidelines on the use of force in compliance with international human rights law.

These two documents set out legal frameworks and policing standards to allow individuals to express their views at public gathering while safeguarding the safety of participants and avoiding violence.

Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Tawana Kupe, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria will inaugurate the webinar at 14:00 CET. A panel of experts, including UN Human Rights Committee member Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on the freedoms of assembly and association Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Barbara Fontana, Head of Human Rights Section of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor of European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law and Luís Carrilho, Police Advisor of UN Department of Peace Operations, will then discuss the significance of these two international documents.

The webinar, open to the public and the media, will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in French and Spanish. It will be livecast at this link.  Event details and registration are now available online.

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For media inquiries, please contact Vivian Kwok at +41 (0) 22 917 9362 / vkwok@ohchr.org or the UN Human Rights Office Media Section at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / media@ohchr.org

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