This handbook was produced by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as a guide for civil society organizations that might initiate independent monitoring of peaceful assemblies in their own country.
It draws and builds on the ODIHR and Venice Commission Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, which are attached as an appendix at the end of this handbook, and which identify core issues in the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly and set out a number of guiding principles that should govern its regulation. It also draws on extensive monitoring experience in numerous countries to outline the key human rights principles related to freedom of assembly and provide guidance on organizing monitoring projects, monitoring at assemblies, and producing reports to highlight the issues that are raised.
This handbook sets out a methodology for monitoring events and activities that take place in the run-up to and during assemblies, i.e., events that generally take place in public spaces and that are largely accessible to all. This methodology involves the gathering of first-hand information by observers able to witness the conduct of and in- teraction among participants in assemblies, law-enforcement agents and other relevant state and non-state actors.