African Commission releases key guidelines on assembly and association rights

Published: November 10, 2017

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has officially published new guidelines on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association – a landmark document designed to strengthen the promotion and protection of these rights across the continent.

The Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa provide practical advice on how the rights to freedom of association and assembly should be protected, based on international law and best practices.

The guidelines were developed through a series of consultations throughout Africa, and are envisioned both as an advocacy tool for civil society and as standards for governments drafting new or updated laws. They were officially adopted at the ACHPR’s 60th session in May and formally published at the 61st session on Nov. 3.

ICNL has provided technical and financial support for the drafting process since 2014, and warmly welcomes the publication of the guidelines.

“In the midst of a global trend of closing civic space, the adoption of these Guidelines was a watershed moment for civil society in Africa,” said Emerson Skyes, ICNL’s legal advisor for Africa. “The Commission has sent a clear message that strong assembly and association rights should be part of the democratic fabric of every country on the continent.”

The Guidelines are available here in both English and French.