Photo Source: © UN Photo/Violaine Martin
Photo Source: © UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Joint Statement by the Group of Friends of R2P during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

6 March 2024

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his unwavering commitment to his mandate over the past six years.

People around the world exercise their right to peaceful assembly to protest injustice, inequality, insecurity, corruption and other grievances, providing a platform for citizens to advocate for positive change. Many governments restrict such demonstrations as security crises, justifying a response by force rather than listening to the expressed grievances and initiating appropriate policy responses.

Not only is excessive use of force by law enforcement officials a breach of public trust, it may also amount to serious human rights violations, some of which may constitute atrocity crimes.

Law enforcement should protect rights-holders instead of repressing them. Failure to investigate those responsible for human rights violations may lead to a climate of fear and impunity, which may pave the way for atrocity crimes in the future.

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

Which measures can be undertaken to increase the resources and capacity of police and law enforcement to develop and foster relationships of trust with local communities and engage in effective civilian and community policing, which protects rights-holders first and foremost?

Thank you.

UN Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect


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