1. States have an obligation to:
a) Respect the right to protest: They should not prevent, hinder or restrict the right to protest except to the extent allowed by international human rights law;
b) Protect the right to protest: They should undertake reasonable steps to protect those who want to exercise their right to protest. This includes adopting measures necessary to prevent violations by third parties; and
c) Fulfil the right to protest: They should establish an enabling environment for the right to protest. This includes providing effective remedies for violations.
d) In their constitutional provisions (or their equivalents) and in their domestic legislation, states should recognise and give effect to the indivisible, interdependent and interconnected human rights embodied in the right to protest in accordance with international human rights law.
These should include:
A Rights essential to the exercise of protests, in particular:
i. The right to freedom of expression: The freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his or her choice;
ii. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly: The freedom to intentionally gather in a space for a common expressive purpose;
iii. The right to freedom of association: The freedom to associate with others, including to form and join trade unions for the protection of individual and collective interests;
iv. The right to public participation: The right of everyone to, inter alia, take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
B Rights that are often violated where protests are repressed, in particular
i. The right to life: No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his/her life;
ii. The right to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment;
iii. The right to privacy: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks upon their honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks;
iv. The right to liberty and security of person: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
To comment in detail on state obligations, click here