Social Protest: A Misunderstood Right

Relevant Aspects of the IACHR Report “Protest and Human Rights”

Javier A. de Belaunde*

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR published its report “Protest and Human Rights” in December 2019. It appears timely when massive demonstrations are being held in the streets and squares across the region. The reasons behind the demonstrations vary, but the response of most governments is common: repression and human rights abuses. Peaceful protest remains a misunderstood right. This report aims to correct this situation by defining the inter-American standards applicable to protest and denouncing the criminalization of protest as an anti-human rights process.

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