The Belgium Parliament adopts a resolution on the place of HRDs in foreign policy

February 20, 2012

On 13 February 2012, the Belgium parliamentarians adopted by unanimity a resolution strengthening its earlier resolutions of 2003 et 2005, in which they urge the Belgium Government to be more active with regard to the protection of human rights defenders. This kind of action by parliaments is rare but extremely important as I believe it helps to focus policy within the broad – and often vague – human rights language and gives long-term stability

The parliamentarians ask for example that the Government meets with HRDs during official visits, that diplomats maintain regular contact with HRDs in prior consultation with local and national human rights NGOs.  They also want to see stronger support for HRDs in the context of conflict prevention, diplomatic dialogues and development aid. Other recommendations relate to the EU and the UN.

Protection International, the Brussels-based international NGO, has rightly welcomed the resolution which is in line with with the best practices it has collected over the years. It now calls on the Government to put the policy into practice.

The Parliament’s Resolution – in French and Dutch – is available at:

The comments by Protection International (in French) at:

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