Global Trends in NGO Law, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2011)
On September 30, 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a Resolution on the Rights of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association A/HRC/RES/15/21. The resolution was co-sponsored by 63 countries and passed by consensus. A cross-regional group co-tabled the resolution, supported by ICNL and other civil society organizations. The resolution reaffirms that “everyone has the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association,” and that “civil society makes a valuable contribution to the achievement of the aims and principles of the United Nations.” The resolution also calls upon States to ensure these rights by taking “all necessary measures ” to abide by obligations under international human rights law. Most importantly, the resolution creates the first-ever UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.
In April 2011, Maina Kiai was appointed by the UNHCR as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. Maina Kiai is a well known Kenyan lawyer, human rights defender, and film-maker . For over twenty years, he has worked to defend human rights and campaign for constitutional reform in Kenya. He is the founder of the unofficial Kenyan Human Rights Commission, and served as Chairman of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission. Mr. Kiai has also served as Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Program, and as Africa Director of the International Human Rights Law Group (Global Rights). Most recently he has employed television and film to inform and educate citizens about their rights.
The International Center for Not for Profit Law is proud to bring this interview with Mr. Kiai.