Important Human Rights Council side event on 11 March (to be followed on internet)

February 14, 2014

The Geneva-based International Service for Human Rights organises an important side event during the upcoming UN Human Rights Council. Under the title “Creating a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders” the event will take place on 11 March 2014, from 12h00 – 14h00 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva (exact room to be determined later). Those who cannot attend in person, can follow the event through a live webcast and ask questions or share comments via Twitter using #HRDs before and during the event. Photos and further details will also be available on Facebook following the event,Defending human rights is a critical but increasingly dangerous activity in many parts of the world. This panel discussion will shed light on the threats and obstacles encountered by human rights defenders, and identify actions and protection strategies for the UN, States, national human rights institutions and civil society to contribute to a safe and enabling environment for them.The discussion will draw on the new perspectives offered by two recent publications.The latest report of the Special Rapporteur finds that human rights defenders – especially journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, and those who work to promote women’s rights and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons – face ‘extraordinary risks’.It documents an increased incidence of violations against people and communities opposed to mining, construction and development projects, and the worsening ‘use of legislation in a number of countries to restrain the activities of human rights defenders and to criminalise them.’ The report makes a wide range of recommendations to ensure that human rights defenders are protected and can operate in a ‘safe and enabling environment’. The recent Special Issue of the Journal of Human Rights Practice also explores these issues with a specific focus on the protection of human rights defenders. Human rights defenders and those who work closely with them reflect in the journal on the threats and risks they face, share insights into their experiences, and present perspectives on the effectiveness of existing protection mechanisms and practices.

Panelists will be:

  • Margaret Sekaggya, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (whose mandate is terminating)
  • Hassan Shire Sheikh of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network
  • Daniel Joloy, human rights defender from Mexico
  • Sabrina Dallafior, Minister and Deputy Head, Human Security Division, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Danna Ingleton, Research and Policy Advisor, Amnesty International.

This event is co-organised by the International Service for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York and the Human Rights & Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University.

via Human Rights Council side event | ISHR.

5 Responses to “Important Human Rights Council side event on 11 March (to be followed on internet)”


  1. […] events scheduled. I will focus only on those that have Human Rights Defenders as a central theme (e.g. https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/important-human-rights-council-side-event-on-11-march-…). Another one that promises to be interesting is organised by the Permanent Missions of the […]


  2. […] Ideas shared in the Side Eventof the Human Rights Council on ‘Creating a Safe and Enabling Environment for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders’ on 11 March 2014 (see my post:https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/important-human-rights-council-side-event-on-11-march-to-be-&#8230😉 […]


  3. […] Jilani’s successor Margaret Sekaggya observes that attacks upon human rights defenders have only increased since 2008, and will be reporting to the UN Council on the 11th of this month. […]


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