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Report International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations Written Contribution on the General Comment on Article 21

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Public demonstrations are a fundamental tool of democratic engagement. Free, and public, speech and protests are a central tool of public expression and engagement, often serving as the only avenue for advocacy seeking political, social, or economic reform, and for allowing individuals and communities to express their grievances and their claims for recognition of individual and group rights. Historically, public speech has driven progress on labour rights, women’s and migrants’ rights, prompted an end to apartheid and racial segregation, corruption and discriminatory practices, opened the door to enhanced political freedoms and equality in political representation, mobilised access to land, resisted exploitation of natural resources, and demanded solutions to housing shortages and the absence of basic social services.
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