Imagining a World Without Participation

It is not a good one. The UN expert on assembly and association, Maina Kiai, recognises this, and has dedicated his final report to the UN promoting how civil society participation has improved societies globally. He invites human rights organisations to give input to this report, with an extended deadline of 15 February.

The final report of the UN Special Rapporteur focuses on the myriad ways in which civil society groupings have improved societies globally. He has invited civil society members to contribute to this report, until the extended deadline of 15 February 2017, and is especially interested in specific, real-world examples of civil society successes and achievements.

The Special Rapporteur invites contributions in the form of a questionnaire – in English, Spanish, or French, and requests that you send your responses to these four questions to

With the upcoming report, the Rapporteur expressed that he plans to “codify the achievements and successes of civil society over the last decade,” and said the report will “serve as a reminder of just how important civil society is for peace, security, prosperity, social progress and human rights.”

The report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2017, under the title “Imagining a World Without Participation: Mapping the History and Achievements of Civil Society”.

The Special Rapporteur convened a consultation to discuss this subject in November 2016. Human Rights House Foundation’s Head of Advocacy, Florian Irminger, and Lara Aharonian, Human Rights House Yerevan, attended and gave input during these consultations.

Previously, in January 2017, Maina Kiai and Christof Heyns, former Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, published their joint report on 10 Principles for the Proper Management of Assemblies.

The mandate for the Special rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association has been renewed for another three years. A new mandate holder will be appointed in March 2017, and will take up the mandate in April 2017.

Maina Kiai

Maina Kiai a laywer and human rights defender serving as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. He began his functions as a Special Rapporteur in  May 2011, for an initial period of three years which was later extended to a second term ending in April 2017.

The Mandate: Protecting Assembly & Association Rights Worldwide

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association examines, monitors, advises and publicly reports on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide.

The Special Rapporteur employs various work methods including: responding to individual complaints, conducting studies, providing technical assistance to governments, and engaging in public outreach and promotional activities.

The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association was established in October 2010 via Human Rights Council resolution 15/21. It was renewed for three years in September 2013 via HRC resolution 24/5 and for an additional three years in 2016 by resolution 32/32.

The Special Rapporteur’s full mandate can be found here.


July 6, 2018

No justice for Mehman Huseynov

Since anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov was sentenced for defamation in March 2017, HRHF has been asking, “when will he find justice?”. With his appeals inside the country now exhausted, we see once again that little justice can be found for human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.

July 3, 2018

HRHF statement on Ukraine at HRC38

Human Rights House Foundation delivered the following statement on Ukraine to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC38). This statement enjoys the support of four Ukrainian human rights organisations.

July 2, 2018

Assembly and association “enable rights”

UN Special Rapporteur Clément Voule introduces his aims and priorities for freedom of assembly and association mandate, and discusses cooperation with civil society, in an interview with HRHF on the sidelines of HRC38.