Protests and Demonstrations

Public protests and demonstrations are common, but even a peaceful protest or demonstration can become violent without warning.  Below you can find safety and security recommendations for UT Dallas travelers to mitigate risk before and during a demonstration abroad.

Before departure, we recommend UT Dallas travelers to:

  • Verify that the phone, and e-mail in your MyTrips profile in International SOS will help ISOS and UT Dallas reach you in case of emergency.
  • Register your UT Dallas related travel itinerary, including all side trips in International SOS and print your ISOS card.

Stay connected and aware of current developments

  • Enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if a U.S. Citizen.  Follow similar procedures with your home country embassy at your destination if not a U.S. Citizen.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Monitor your UT Dallas email address for travel updates from ISOS and UT Dallas.
  • Download the ISOS assistance app to get travel notifications and alerts relevant to your destination.
  • Monitor the media and local developments closely and follow any instructions or advice issued by the local authorities.

Be prepared

  • Review or create an emergency communication plan.
  • Avoid large crowds and crowded places. Exercise particular caution during high-profile public events (sporting contests, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, demonstrations, etc.)
  • Avoid potential flashpoint locations, including political rallies where localized violence is likely; monitor local media reports for additional information.
  • Avoid the vicinity of government buildings (parliament buildings and known likely protest locations during periods of unrest/tensions).
  • Be aware of immediate surroundings and exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • In case of emergency, contact local assistance services and International SOS. If you have specific safety concerns, contact local law enforcement authorities.

During a demonstration

  • Do not participate in a demonstration abroad.  In some countries it is illegal for non-citizens to participate in demonstrations.
  • Maintain a low profile and quickly but calmly vacate an area at the first sign that demonstrators and/or security force personnel are gathering.
  • 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.
  • In the event of violence, return to your accommodation or another secure location as soon as it is safe to do so, and stand fast until the situation normalizes.

Sources

Various alert messages regarding security advise during demonstrations from the following sources:

We wish you safe travels!

The risk information in this report is retrieved from the listed sources. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the publication date of this post, and go to the direct sources listed above for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this post may change without prior notice.