United Nations Human Rights Council 48: Declaration by the United Kingdom on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests


Thank you Madam President.

The UK welcomes today’s debate.

Peaceful protests play a positive role in the development of open societies, contributing to the effectiveness of democratic systems and processes. They constitute an important form of exercise of the rights to the freedoms of peaceful assembly, of expression and of association.

The UK government is concerned about the crackdown on peaceful protests around the world in recent months, including the illegal use of force by law enforcement, and the criminalization of those who have organized, participated in or reported peaceful protests . Although the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allows restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly and movement in order to protect public health, these must be targeted, time-bound and subject to regular review to ensure they are ensure that they remain necessary.

The UK considers a free, open, peaceful and secure Internet to be a fundamental tool for the promotion of human rights. We share the Council’s concern regarding the use of Internet shutdowns and measures to limit the ability to organize, facilitate and conduct gatherings, and to prevent individuals from accessing or sharing information during key political moments.

The UK works closely with our international partners to promote freedom of peaceful assembly, including the ability to demonstrate peacefully.

Madame President,

We would be happy to hear the views of the panel on the steps we as states need to take to ensure that this right is protected.

Thank you.


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