Protests can be the result of a multitude of issues that arise – from election to student tuition increases to public transportation concerns. Understand that while most of these demonstrations remain peaceful, some result in vandalism, assaults, and even causalities. It is important to avoid areas where protests and demonstrations are taking place for your own personal safety.
- Public protests and demonstrations are common, but they can be very dangerous. Even a peaceful protest or demonstration can become violent without warning. Students should never participate in a public rally, demonstration, or protest. If these events occur while you are abroad, avoid the area.
- Although the police are likely to quickly contain any disturbances caused by demonstrations, those caught in the vicinity may face incidental risks. In some countries, anyone perceived as a participant by law enforcement may be subject to local laws and applicable penalties or legal repercussions; simply being an observer in the area may classify you as a protestor and you may be detained and/or face legal issues as a result.
- Vacate an area immediately at the first sign that demonstrators or security force personnel are beginning to gather. In the event of violence, return to your accommodation or to another secure location as soon as it is safe to do so, and stand fast until the situation normalizes.
- Anticipate localized travel disruption during protests or strikes in major cities. Allow additional time to complete important journeys.
- Do not attempt to cross roadblocks and reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out.
- Do not watch or take photographs of rallies and demonstrations. Maintain a low profile and quickly but calmly vacate the area at the first sign of a crowd forming.
- We advise against expressing political views on social media.
- Closely monitor any developments by using local sources and On Call International travel security alerts to remain up-to-date on any developments.