Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. JST Belgium (28.06.2024)

56th session of the Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue with the SR on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.

28 June 2024

Chair, I deliver this statement on behalf of a cross-regional group of 70 countries.

Human rights defenders are leaders of positive change. Their work is crucial in promoting and protecting human rights and democracy worldwide. Their grassroot views inform decision making and enable UN entities to effectively implement their mandates[1].

An enabling environment for human rights defenders that guarantees the fulfilment of the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, opinion and expression is essential in driving positive change. In practice, however, HRDs face numerous challenges and their work is too often neglected, ignored or willfully obstructed[2]. Their progress and achievements are too rarely honoured properly[3].

This statement is meant to pay tribute to the many successes and milestones achieved by all human rights defenders.

Through their persistent peaceful advocacy and engagement, HRDs have shed light on human rights violations, amplified the voices of persons in vulnerable situations, and fostered greater accountability and transparency worldwide. Their work has led to positive legislative changes, the release of those arbitrarily detained, and protected the environment.

The voices of HRDs must be heard. Emphasizing their positive impact and honouring their successes is essential in supporting them.

[Special Rapporteur, how do you envision to include the effective promotion and protection of human rights defenders within your mandate?]

Thank you


  1. Afghanistan
  2. Albania
  3. Andorra
  4. Armenia
  5. Australia
  6. Austria
  7. Belgium
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Brazil
  11. Cabo Verde
  12. Canada
  13. Chile
  14. Colombia
  15. Costa Rica
  16. Croatia
  17. Cyprus
  18. Czech Republic
  19. Denmark
  20. Dominican Republic
  21. Ecuador
  22. Estonia
  23. Finland
  24. France
  25. Gambia
  26. Georgia
  27. Germany
  28. Ghana
  29. Greece
  30. Guatemala
  31. Hungary
  32. Iceland
  33. Italy
  34. Ireland
  35. Japan
  36. Kazachstan
  37. Kenya
  38. Latvia
  39. Liechtenstein
  40. Lithuania
  41. Luxembourg
  42. Marshall Islands
  43. Malta
  44. Mexico
  45. Moldova
  46. Monaco
  47. Mongolia
  48. Montenegro
  49. Mozambique
  50. Netherlands
  51. New Zealand
  52. North Macedonia
  53. Norway
  54. Paraguay
  55. Poland
  56. Portugal
  57. Philippines
  58. Republic of Korea
  59. Romania
  60. Sierra Leone
  61. Slovakia
  62. Slovenia
  63. South Africa
  64. Spain
  65. Sweden
  66. Switzerland
  67. Ukraine
  68. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  69. United States of America
  70. Uruguay


[1] In line with JST on reprisals in NY led by Ireland and Uruguay, 17 October 2023

[2] A/HRC/54/61

[3] A/HRC/52/29 para 4