A Conversation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

February 05, 2019

The Nordic Trust Fund (NTF) and the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) invite you to this event to learn more about the global threats regarding the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.



In what has been called a ‘global civic space emergency’ restrictions of civic space is growing across the world. Limitations of the rights to freedom of assembly and of association hinder effective citizen engagement and impede effective engagement of civil society to make a positive contribution towards development. It also limits their ability to promote public transparency and social accountability, as well as their ability to aggregate and represent citizen interests and preferences. The most vulnerable parts of the population are often disproportionally affected by restrictions in civic space, which has severe consequences on the implementation of the 2030 agenda on leaving no one behind. Recent years have seen increased restrictions on amongst other indigenous groups, as well as organizations working on labor rights, gender and the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.

The Special Rapporteur is currently preparing a report to the UN General Assembly on the impact on civic space restrictions and the adverse effects it may have on the economy, which he will speak more about in this session.


What you will learn?

  • Current trends regarding the enabling environment for Citizen Engagement and Civil Society Organizations and the restrictions in civic space.

  • How the restrictions in civic space hinder CSOs to fully contribute to the SDGs and the 2030 agenda of leaving no one behind.

  • The impact of civic space restrictions on economic development

  • The role of accountability, participation, and inclusion in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals


Who is presenting?


Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE, United Nations Special Rapporteur, Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association


Edith Jibunoh, Adviser, ESCRSE

Stuti Khemani, Senior Economist, DECMG


Jeff Thindwa , Program Manager, GPSA, Governance Global Practice



Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE, a national from Togo was appointed as UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association in March 2018. Prior to his appointment to Special Rapporteur, he led the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) work to support human rights defenders from States in transition and coordinated the organization’s work in Africa as the Advocacy Director.

Clément also worked as Secretary-General of the Togolese Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, as a campaigner for the Togolese Coalition for the International Criminal Court and as Secretary-General of the Amnesty International section in Togo. Since 2011, Clément has been an Expert Member of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission on Human and People’s Right.