15 June 2016: a good day to reflect on what it takes to be a human rights defender

June 13, 2016

Wednesday 15 June marks the global day of action calling for justice for Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Lenca woman and environmental human rights defender in Honduras who was assassinated earlier this year [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/exceptional-response-from-ngo-world-on-killing-of-berta-caceres/ ]. Her organization COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) called for this global day of action where people all over the world will be holding demonstrations and protests at Honduran consulates and embassies.

Her case should inspire the Panel discussion held the same day, 18h00 – 18h45, under the title “What does it take to be a human rights defender ?, organised by the European Union Delegation to the UN and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Maison de la Paix, Geneva.

The Human Rights Council depends on those defending human rights on the ground, every day, often at the expense of their own safety. This event is dedicated to Human Rights Defenders worldwide, who work tirelessly to promote the rights of others, often at their own personal risk.



  • Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights
  • Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi author and blogger; Winner, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
  • Aida Khemiri, Tunisian activist for women’s rights and minorities

The panel discussion will be followed by a march for Human Rights, starting at 18.45 from Maison de la Paix and ending at the Ariana Museum, for a cocktail reception and music from the Violinissima Duo, performing from a hot air balloon. Organised to mark the tenth anniversary of the Human Rights Council.

Source: What does it take to be a human rights defender ?

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