Demonstrations and civil unrest are common around the world. They can be peaceful or violent. They can range in scale from a few people at a small local rally, to a large demonstration or riots with 1000s of people.
This article provides information and advice on staying safe overseas if there are demonstrations or unrest.
Research your destination before you go
The better prepared you are, the safer and more enjoyable your travel will be.
- Read the travel advisory for your destination so you can weigh up risks and make informed decisions about your travel. See our advice in the ‘Safety’ section.
- Subscribe to receive updates on your destination.
- Follow Smartraveller on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the social media of the Australian embassy or high commission for your destination.
- Monitor the media for information and updates about your destination. Keep an eye on current events and find out if there’s increased tension around any social or political topics. This can lead to unrest.
- Keep the contact details of local authorities handy. See the local contacts in the travel advisory for your destination.
Stay safe while you’re away
Avoid all protests, demonstrations and rallies. Even peaceful events can turn violent without warning.
- Monitor the media and stay away from any areas around the unrest.
- Resist the urge to go and watch as a tourist. In some countries, it’s illegal to protest or demonstrate. Local authorities may consider you a protester just for being nearby, watching or taking photos.
- Be prepared to change your travel plans.
- Follow instructions from local authorities.
- If you’re caught up in a potentially dangerous situation, leave the area as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Seek help from local emergency authorities. See our travel advisories for the local contacts for your destination.
- If you need urgent help from the Australian Government:
- contact the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate
- phone the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305
- Keep your family and friends updated on your situation.
- See our general information and advice on demonstrations and how to stay safe
- See our advice on what to do when there’s a demonstration or civil unrest
- See our information on what to do when you need urgent help
- Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can’t do to help you overseas.