29th session – June 17, 2015
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the SR on PeacefulAssembly and Association
Oral statement delivered by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation forHuman Rights (FIDH), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protectionof Human Rights Defenders.
Mr. President, Mr. Special Rapporteur,
Our organisations welcome the reporton the Rights to freedom ofpeaceful assembly and of association in the context of natural resourceexploitation and call for States, businessenterprises and other actors to use its recommendations as a blueprint forreforms.
TheObservatory recently published its Annual Report: "We are not afraid". Land Rights Defenders: attacked forconfronting unbridled development. It provides a global analysis on the particularvulnerability of land rights defenders andreflects on the work of the Observatory in the past few years.
Mr. SpecialRapporteur, the Observatory notices the high degree of coincidences between thetwo reports.
At the heart of the problem lies the issue ofthe participation of individuals and communities affected by the developmentpolicies and investment projects for which the full respect of the freedoms ofassembly and association are essential in order to prevent escalation of landdisputes and put an end to serious human rights violations.
The Observatory calls for meaningfulconsultations that ensure the direct participation of those affected by theprojects and for the recognition of land rights defenders as legitimatespokespersons. Furthermore, it is necessary to strengthen the capacity andindependence of domestic judicial systems, and to strengthen international lawin order to trigger effectively the responsibility of business enterprises, inorder to combat impunity.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, finally, we would like to refer to the worryingand growing trend of laws restricting freedom of association tabled or approvedacross the world including in countries such as the Russian Federation,Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Angola,Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan or Egypt just to mentionsome examples that illustrate the global dimension of this problem. TheObservatory recalls the recommendations contained in its 2013 Annual Reportwhich addressed restrictions in the access to funding and exhorts you, Mr.Special Rapporteur, to join forces with other mandate-holders at the UN but alsoin the regional human rights systems to address this global threat.
We thank you Mr Special Rapporteur.
The full report of the SR is available here:
- in English:A_HRC_29_25_EN_Report_SR_FoAA
- in French: A_HRC_29_25_FR_Report_SR_FoAA
- in Spanish: A_HRC_29_25_ESP_Report_SR_FoAA