On 16 December 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, hosted a global webinar on peaceful (and not so peaceful) assemblies: A fresh look at the international standards.


During 2020, the United Nations issued two new international instruments on peaceful assembly, which set out the “rules of engagement” for assemblies worldwide, in order to allow participants to pursue change while ensuring that tensions are de-escalated and violence is avoided. The UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment 37 on the right of peaceful assembly and the UN Human Rights Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement restate key elements of the international standards on peaceful assemblies.


Keynote speakers 

Prof Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria

Ilze Brands Kehris
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights


Abigail Noko
Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Southern Africa

Frans Viljoen
Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria


Prof Christof Heyns
Member of the UN Human Rights Committee and Rapporteur for General Comment 37; Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Pretoria

Clément Nyaletsossi Voule
UN Special Rapporteur on the freedoms of assembly and association -

Barbara Fontana
Head of Human Rights Section, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva

Francesca Fanucci
Senior Legal Advisor, European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law

Commissioner Luís Carrilho
Police Advisor, Police Division, UN Department of Peace Operations