Freedom of assembly & Pride events

In this section you can find out what Freedom of Assembly means, what a Pride event is, and why ILGA-Europe is focusing on this. Moreover the section includes a comprehensive calendar for Pride events in Europe and resources on the issue.

What is freedom of assembly?
Freedom of assembly is the right to come together publicly and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of assembly is recognised as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty by the European Union and the Council of Europe. Sometimes used interchangeably with Freedom of association.

What is a pride event?
Pride events and marches date back to June 1969 to the so-called Stonewall riot, when LGBTI persons in New York protested in the streets for several days against persistent police harassment of LGBTI individuals and venues. The following year, the uprising was commemorated by demonstrations in several American cities, and since then annual demonstrations against homophobia/transphobia and for LGBTI rights have spread around the world.

Why does ILGA-Europe focus on freedom of assembly and pride events?
The right to peacefully assemble is at the core of a functioning democratic system and is enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights (Article 11) and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 21). Moreover the importance of defending this principle was strongly underlined in the Recommendation from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

While in many European countries, Pride events are festive celebrations of diversity, LGBTI people in a high number of countries face fierce opposition, assaults and violence when they dare to come out in the streets. In some countries, government authorities even prevent them to organise a Pride event, while in others, no Pride event has been organise to date, notably because of the dangerous national context.

ILGA-Europe’s overall objective is to ensure that national and local authorities respect and protect the rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of association and that anyone exercising these rights can do so in a safe environment.

To achieve this long-term aim, ILGA-Europe’s specific objectives over the next three years are:

  • monitor and report on human rights violations and/or risks of human rights violations to European and national institutions with a view to ensuring that an increased number of European institutions, government officials and elected officials support pride events and uphold the right to freedom of association
  • increase the capacity of LGBTI and other human rights organisations to respond to challenges to/violations of these rights with a view to ensuring that safe and successful pride events take place throughout Europe.

Contact Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director, or Michael Cerulus, Senior Policy & Programmes Officer for more information.

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Resources on freedom of assembly

In this section, we are gathering ressources on the topic.

Pride events in Europe

In this section we are providing a list of events taking place across Europe, as well as various useful sources for those organising or considering organising Pride events in their countries.


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