General Comment 37: A Short Guide for Civil Society

This tool offers detailed guidance for civil society organizations on using General Comment to help advance freedom of peaceful assembly through advocacy, awareness-raising, and training efforts at the local, national, and regional levels.

Overview

Activists and experts can use the General Comment to engage in research, advocacy, awareness-raising, and training to advance respect for assembly rights. Ideas on how to use the General Comment include the following:

ASSESSING COMPLIANCE WITH THE GENERAL COMMENT

  • Analysis of legal frameworks and official practices.
  • In-depth examination of recent assemblies.
  • Comparative studies of regional practices.
  • Monitoring of government practices.

CONDUCTING ADVOCACY WITH KEY ACTORS

  • Advocacy with government officials.
  • Litigation before national and regional courts.
  • Submissions to UN Human Rights Committee and Special Rapporteurs.
  • Development of protocols with local authorities.
  • Revision of notification and authorization procedures.
  • Guidance and training for law enforcement officials regarding policing.
  • Outreach to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and platforms.

SUPPORTING TRAINING, EDUCATION, AND AWARENESS-RAISING

  • Public awareness-raising regarding problematic laws and official practices.
  • Training for civil society on the General Comment.
  • Training for journalists on applicable standards regarding assembly.
  • Incorporation of the Comment into legal education curricula.
  • Specific outreach to marginalized communities.