Report of the Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, A/69/365, 1 September 2014
III. Actions at the multilateral level and their impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
A. Norms regulating the rights to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly at the multilateral level
24. Article 71 of the Charter of the United Nations, for example, is implemented primarily via the United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which recommends Economic and Social Council status for NGOs wishing to participate in the Council. Status is required of NGOs to attend and participate in many United Nations meetings, and to make statements before the Human Rights Council. The Special Rapporteur received numerous complaints that the process of obtaining Council status is long, complex, costly, beyond the capability of many small civil society organizations and impossible to obtain for informal organizations and grass-roots networks, in particular those which do not have access to the Internet. This has resulted in a perceived underrepresentation of smaller organizations, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups and civic organizations from the Global South. In addition to these practical barriers, NGO applicants also face political ones. The Special Rapporteur reviews both in section IV below.
IV. Actions by States which impact on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association at the multilateral level
B. State practices pertaining to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association at the multilateral level
76. NGOs working on sexual orientation and gender identity issues in particular have faced difficulties in obtaining consultative status. Since 2011, only four such organizations have been recommended by the Committee. Nine other organizations were accredited because the Economic and Social Council quashed negative recommendations by the Committee.
Link to full text of the report: Report-SRAssembly-2014-eng
- 6. “International Service for Human Rights, UN takes forward step on LGBT rights and backward step on sexual and reproductive rights”. Available from http://www.ishr.ch/news/un-takes-forward-step-lgbt-rights-and-backward-step-sexual-and-reproductive-rights, 2 June 2014.↵