International developments related to policing and human rights

In this section you will find information about most recent developments in the area of policing and human rights, such as resolutions of UN bodies, international conferences or events.

Amnesty International calls on states to implement African Commission’s groundbreaking guidelines on policing assemblies

Amnesty International welcomes the powerful standards and practices set out in the Guidelines on Policing Assemblies adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Guidelines underline, among other things, that peaceful assembly not a privilege but a right which police should facilitate; that any use of force by police should be an exceptional measure and that firearms are not an appropriate tool for policing assemblies; that in general the military should not be used for this task; and that police, including commanders, should be held accountable for human rights violations committed in policing assemblies. Amnesty calls on African states to fully implement the Guidelines, which should also be taken note of by relevant authorities worldwide.

Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

On 27th of May 2016, the Standing Committee acting on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution (Resolution 2116) in relation to the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly. It expressed in particular its concerns about the frequent use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, including the systematic and inappropriate use of tear gas and other “less lethal” weapons as well as the recent legal restrictions placed on the right to freedom of assembly in different member States. In the Resolution it calls therefore Member States to urgently take measures to prevent human rights violations during public assemblies, among others in particular to: safeguard the right to freedom of peaceful assembly enshrined in Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as other human rights, including in the context of “spontaneous”, non-notified demonstrations; review existing legislation with a view to bringing it into conformity with international human rights instruments regarding the right to freedom of peaceful assembly; adopt and implement a human rights-based approach to policing protests; refrain from banning any protests, except for the legitimate reasons enumerated in Article of the Convention; effectively investigate and adequately sanction all instances of ill-treatment committed by law-enforcement officials in order to combat and eradicate impunity, including the responsibility of the officials in charge of the command, control and supervision of the police operation in question; fully respect the right to freedom of expression of journalists covering the protests, and protect medical staff providing assistance to protesters.

African Commission General Comment on the Right to Life

During its 57th ordinary session from 4th to 18th of November in Banjul, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights adopted its General Comment number 3 on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights: The right to life (Art. 4 ACHPR) Read the full text of the General Comment .