Michel Forst in his latest and last report to the Council focuses on HRDs in conflict zones

March 5, 2020

 Human rights defenders working in conflict and post-conflict situations should enjoy greater recognition, protection and support for their work, said Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, in his latest report presented to the Human Rights Council on 4 March 2020. It is also his last report since he is leaving the position [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/11/08/michel-forst-in-last-address-to-general-assembly-pleads-to-fight-reprisals/]

Defenders in conflict settings are courageous men and women who provide emergency relief, ensure access to civilians and document civilian casualties and violations of international law,” he sais, “In post-conflict settings, they may help claiming back the homes of displaced people and challenge impunity. Some are children calling for peace and equal access to education.” “In too many cases their contributions go unnoticed, while they face multiple threats to their safety due to conflict related insecurity or the very nature of their work, for example when they denounce violations committed by warring parties. Women defenders are particularly exposed to gender based violence, including sexual violence”.

According to his report, defenders in conflict and post-conflict situation face serious restrictions on their freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Their activities are restricted in the name of national security, public order and counter-terrorism; or through obstacles such as NGO registration, access to funding, suspension of online communications and cyber-attacks. Journalist and NGO staff members face arrest and criminal charges for denouncing human rights violations.

More countries have recently experienced violent conflict than at any point in the last thirty years. Human rights defenders operating in these situations of intense pressure are too often solely responsible for their own protection,” the UN expert said.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25654&LangID=E

One Response to “Michel Forst in his latest and last report to the Council focuses on HRDs in conflict zones”


  1. […] Michel Forst, the current special rapporteur, is stepping down after six years in the role [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/03/05/michel-forst-in-his-latest-and-last-report-to-the-counc…%5D. This is excellent news as Mary Lawlor has enormous experience in human rights, as a previous […]


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