Protection International: A collective approach to the right to defend human rights

December 13, 2018

On 13 December 2018 Protection International launched its latest publication and flagship item of its global campaign #CommunitiesareHRDs.

With the recent 20th anniversary of the UN declaration on Human Rights Defenders, this publication brings to attention the indispensable work carried out by communities of human rights defenders across the globe. Human rights defenders do not usually work alone, but in groups, in association with others, in social movements, building collective networks and supporting each other. Nevertheless, the tendency of protection mechanisms is to choose an individual HRD, a practice which can limit the impact of measures to a very narrow number of defenders and also undermine the collective dimension of human rights defence work.

The publication identifies a number of problems which stem from the individualisation of HRDs, highlighting that most protection programmes, both at international and national level, are based on sets of measures intended to provide security to a given individual, but fail to provide structural policy changes that are indispensable for the effective protection of all those defending rights.

The publication also provides ideas of key measures and actions that should be taken into account when developing collective protection strategies with communities or groups of HRDs. For protection to be effective, sustainable and reach a greater number of human rights defenders, we shift towards a more collective mindset.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/13d2cdbb-fb92-4648-ac56-2f73e7df19ac

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