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Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association


Purpose of the mandate

The United Nations recognizes the importance of the rights to peaceful assembly and of association to the full enjoyment of civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. This mandate was created to:

  • Gather and share information about global, regional and local trends and issues relating to peaceful assembly and association
  • Make recommendations on how to ensure the promotion and protection of these rights
  • Report on violations, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, persecution, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights

About the mandate

In October 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 15/21 establishing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for an initial period of three years.

The Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur a first time in September 2013 (resolution 24/5) and a second time in June 2016 (resolution 32/32). The mandate was last renewed in July 2019 (resolution 41/12) for a period of three years.

The mandate-holder serves for an initial period of three years, renewable once.

Learn more about the mandate.

Current mandate holder



Special Rapporteur on the rights
to freedom of peaceful assembly
and of association - © Photo Anteia Win

Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE has been Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association since April 2018. Mr. Voule has worked tirelessly as a human rights advocate and defender in his native country, Togo, and across Africa. He holds a degree in Fundamental Rights from Nantes University in France, and a Masters Diploma in International Law in Armed Conflict from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Read Mr. Voule’s full biography.

Key documents

General principles on protecting civic space and the right to access resources

This document summarizes three general principles under international human rights norms and standards regarding the ability of civil society to seek, receive and use resources. It provides arguments supporting specific aspects of each principle, as well as the legal basis or background for the argument.
PDF: English.

Checklist: 10 principles for the proper management of assemblies

A step-by-step checklist for monitoring implementation of the practical recommendations on the management of assemblies report (A/HRC/31/66) by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
PDF: English.

Latest thematic reports

Celebrating women in activism and civil society: the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association by women and girls. This report, presented at the 75th session of the General Assembly, focuses on the important role that women and girls have played in the enjoyment and realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as the challenges that they still face. View document A/75/184

Ten years protecting civic space worldwide: This report, presented to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2020, reflects on the first 10 years of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the progress made, the challenges ahead as well as the crucial role of civil society and civic space. View document A/HRC/44/50

Civil society space, poverty and national policy: This report, presented to the 74th session of the General Assembly in September 2019, urges States and the development community not to neglect the threats that closing civic space poses to the effectiveness of their poverty eradication policies and programs. View report page | View document A/74/349.

Digital Age: This report, presented to the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in June-July 2019, focuses on the opportunities and challenges facing the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the digital age and seeks to provide guidance on how to best preserve and maximize these opportunities and address risks. View report page | View document A/HRC/41/41.

Latest country reports

Mission to Zimbabwe (17 to 27 September 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/50/Add.2

Mission to Sri Lanka (18 to 26 July 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/50/Add.1

Mission to Tunisia (17 to 28 September 2018)
View document A/HRC/41/41/Add.3.

Mission to Armenia (7 to 16 November 2018)
View document A/HRC/41/41/Add.4.

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