The Centre for Child Law (CCL) is delighted to announce the publication by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) of a paper titled “Free and Safe to Protest: Policing of Assemblies Involving Children”.

Stanley Malematja, an attorney at CCL and Professor Ann Skelton (former director of the CCL), Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Private Law Department,  UNESCO Chair on Education in Africa and Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) formed part of the advisory group members who played a fundamental role in the production of the paper.

Children have been organising and acting to promote and defend their own rights and the rights of others, and there is documented evidence that they have been doing so since the 1880s. The paper articulates child rights in the context of policing assemblies involving children, framed against states’ more general obligations regarding children’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly (RFPA). Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out the RFPA specifically for children. The paper, inter alia, covers, specific importance for children of exercising their RFPA as part of their overall development, and the particular challenges they face in doing so and recommendations for states to take into account before, during and after assemblies take place.