Header image for news printout

Brazil: UN expert visit to assess peaceful assembly and association rights

GENEVA (25 March 2022) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, will conduct an official visit to Brazil from 28 March to 8 April 2022.

Voule will focus on the facilitation and management of peaceful assembly by law enforcement officials, with a particular emphasis on the use of force during protests organised by social movements and indigenous peoples.

One objective of the visit will be to assess procedural and practical measures for holding peaceful assemblies, including issues of authorization versus notification.

The expert will also observe the management of assemblies by law enforcement officials and assess internal and external oversight mechanisms available to address cases of excessive use of force by these officials.

He will also assess developments regarding political campaign and freedom of association ahead of the elections, the right to participation in public affairs and the situation of trade unions and vulnerable groups in Brazil when exercising their right to freedom of association.

The Special Rapporteur will assess the legal framework in which operate civil society and emerging trends observed in recent years including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voule will meet government officials, members of the security service and armed forces, members of the legislature and the judiciary, UN agencies, diplomats, amongst others. He will also meet representatives of civil society organizations, trade unions, climate activists, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. Voule will travel to Brasilia, Salvador de Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

He will present his preliminary observations at a virtual press conference in Sao Paulo on 8 April at 2 pm local time.  Interested journalists should register in advance at unic.brazil@unic.org until 7 April at 16h. Upon registration a link will be sent to those registered.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council, including his findings and recommendations, in June 2023.


Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule was appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association by the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2018. He is a lawyer currently working in Geneva in the field of human rights. Prior to his appointment, he headed the Africa programme of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). Mr. Voule has 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 of Amnesty International-Togo. Since 2011, Mr. Voule has been an expert member of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, the Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. His mandate covers all countries and was recently renewed by resolution 41/12 of the Human Rights Council.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

OHCHR country page: Brazil (ohchr.org)

For media and information requests, please contact Ms. Marta Franco Parra at marta.francoparra1@un.org and ohchr-freeassembly@un.org

For media inquiries related to other UN experts: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

Concerned about the world we live in?
Then STAND UP for someone’s rights today #Standup4humanrights
and visit the web page at