Freedom of association and assembly

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Catalyzing Rights and Freedom of association and assembly

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 21-22(1)(2); CEDAW Art. 7(c); CRC Art. 15; CRPD Art. 29(b); ICERD Art. 5(d)(ix); UDHR Art. 20(1)

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Ensure limitations on the rights are legal, necessary, and proportionate and “ensure that the right to hold assemblies and protests can be realized, and only limit the exercise of that right as strictly required to protect public health” (OHCHR)
  • Reject the use of public health as a “pretext for rights infringements” (UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association)
  • Guarantee “inclusive participation” by regarding “[c]ivil society . . . as an essential partner of governments” (UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association)
  • Avoid “restrictions such as internet shutdowns or online censorship” and take “measures to ensure access to the internet extends to the entirety of the global population, and that it is affordable” (UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association)

Further guidance can be found here: OHCHR; UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association: Ten years protecting civic space worldwide, UN expert welcomes landmark protection for online assembly; Joint Declaration; ACHPR

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 9 matching measures.

Measure Country
Overview of Support Funds for Non-Profit 0rganization – Support Fund (Unterstützungsfonds für Non-Profit-Organisationen im Überblick) Austria

The “NPO support fund” provides grants in the form of cash for organizations, including “non-profit organizations . . . that are officially closed due to the lockdown” to enable them…

2021 COVID-19 Stability Fund for Community and Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprises Ireland

“A funding of €10 million [was] announced for the COVID-19 Stability Fund for 2021.” The Fund builds on an earlier fund and is “open to all Community and Voluntary organisations,…

Revised Phase Two Guidance Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Guidance for Mass Gatherings United States

In the District of Columbia, while the guidelines prohibit “[i]ndoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people,” an exception to this order is:…

Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Johnson v. Iowa Dep’t of Pub. Safety, No. 4:20-cv-00306-RGE-CFB (S.D. Iowa Dec. 10, 2020) United States

After plaintiffs were banned “from the Iowa State Capitol and Capitol Complex grounds for periods ranging from six months to one year” following a protest, they sought “an order preliminarily…

Order Prohibiting Larger Assemblies and Access to and Restrictions on Premises and Locations in Connection with the Handling of Covid-19 (Bekendtgørelse om Forbud Mod Større Forsamlinger og Mod Adgang til og Restriktioner for Lokaler og Lokaliteter i Forbindelse med Håndtering af Covid­19) Denmark

Under COVID-19 restrictions it was “forbidden to hold and participate in indoor and outdoor events, events, activities or the like, where there are more than 100 people present at the…

Juneteenth Rally Planned in Madison Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Social Unrest United States

In Madison, Wisconsin, although Juneteenth, “an annual nationwide day of celebration to commemorate the freeing of the slaves after the Civil War” was originally “shifted online due to the COVID-19…

The Summary Judge of the Council of State Suspends the General and Absolute Ban on Demonstrating on the Public Highway (Le Juge des Référés du Conseil d’État Suspend L’interdiction Générale et Absolue de Manifester sur la Voie Publique) France

The French Council of State decided that “the ban on demonstrations” resulting from a May 31, 2020 decree that prohibited “gatherings, meetings or activities bringing together more than ten people”…

Three Guidelines for Large-Scale Demonstrations (Drei Vorgaben für Großdemonstrationen) Austria

The government “organized a round table . . . with representatives of the City of Vienna, the police, the health authorities and demonstration organizers” following a “protest against racism and…

Application for the Issuance of an Interim Order against a Ban on Assembly Partially Successful (Antrag auf Erlass einer Einstweiligen Anordnung gegen Versammlungsverbot teilweise erfolgreich) Germany

The First Chamber of the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court found that “[t]he assembly authority had incorrectly assumed that the ordinance of the Hessian state government to combat…

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