Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

Training workshop on Protection of HRDs by Foreign Governments

January 24, 2017

Chris Collier, a well-known human rights consultant based in the  Netherlands (www.chriscollier.nl), will be conducting a one-day, participatory training workshop for human rights defenders and staff of human rights organizations on foreign government protection of HRDs. The course will take place on 27 March 2017 in Brussels.  Participants will gain knowledge of policies and practices of foreign governments in HRD protection, will develop advocacy skills to make full use of these possibilities, and make plans to get foreign governments to take action on specific issues or cases.  The workshop will cover the EU and EU member states as well as other countries with guidelines on HRD protection (Switzerland, Norway and Canada).  The language of the workshop will be English.  The number of participants will be limited to a maximum of 15.  The workshop fee is €300 and participants are asked to arrange their own visa, travel and accommodation.  (An invitation letter to the training can, of course, be provided.)

Please contact Chris Collier if you would you be interested in participating in this training workshop,  tel. +31-(0)6-34936026 mail@chriscollier.nl

 

 

EU Mechanism held first meeting: Human Rights Defenders are not criminals

December 2, 2016

On 29 November 2016  ‘ProtectDefenders.eu’ – the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism implemented by International Civil Society – concluded its first annual meeting of beneficiaries: human rights defenders at risk from all regions of the world who have benefited from the project gathered today in Brussels. The meeting aimed at reflecting on this first year of coordinated work to support defenders worldwide and at highlighting the worrying global phenomenon of criminalisation of human rights defenders.[see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/international-cooperative-consortium-protect-the-defenders-launched-on-2-december/]

To conclude the meeting, the twelve partner organisations of ProtectDefenders.eu have issued a public statement urging all national authorities to “publicly recognise the crucial role played by human rights defenders and protect them in all circumstances from any form of judicial harassment“. As stressed by Antoine Madelin, FIDH Director for International Advocacy and Chair of the Board of ProtectDefenders.eu, “Human Rights Defenders are the pillars of democracy and of the rule of law but are too often subjected to unfair criminal prosecution, in an effort to undermine their work in the defence of human rights.”

Since the launch of the project in October 2015, ProtectDefenders.eu has witnessed an increased criminalisation of defenders worldwide in reprisal to the conduct of legitimate human rights activities.

ProtectDefenders.eu held its meeting in Brussels under the motto “Defenders are not criminals” and brought together dozens of human rights defenders at risk supported by the EU mechanism during its first year of implementation, together with prominent representatives of NGOs, European institutions and Representatives of International and Regional Protection Mechanisms, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. Participating defenders, coming from more than 20 countries such as Burundi, Honduras, Egypt, Bangladesh or the Russian Federation, shared their experiences of resilience in often dangerous and challenging situations and debated on the most effective strategies to counter criminalisation and pursue their work.

This meeting has also emphasised the main achievements and highlights of the first year of ProtectDefenders.eu. In the first twelve months, the EU Mechanism has provided more than 330 emergency grants to defenders at high risk, facilitating a rapid response to their legal, medical, security or emergency relocation needs in pressing circumstances. At the same time, ProtectDefenders.eu has successfully started and run a temporary relocation programme, disbursing more than 700,000 € in support of 74 temporary relocations in favour of 150 individuals, with the collaboration of host institutions worldwide and in the framework of the EU Temporary Relocation Platform.

The Project has also provided institutional and operational support to grassroots organisations, allocating more than 300,000 € through 32 grants. 1,300 defenders worldwide were trained to improve their security and protection in difficult contexts.

Finally, ProtectDefenders.eu has expanded its advocacy and outreach dimension, by conducting fact-finding missions and monitoring trials against defenders particularly in difficult countries, as well as carrying out initiatives to assist and connect isolated and vulnerable defenders throughout the world. ProtectDefenders.eu has coordinated more than 430 urgent alerts aimed at mobilizing the attention of concerned authorities, public and media on behalf of defenders at risk.

Human Rights defenders who attended the meeting positively assessed the first year of implementation of ProtectDefenders.eu. The twelve partners praised the EU strong support through the EIDHR of a project as ambitious and comprehensive as ProtectDefenders.eu. As pointed out by Andrew Anderson, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders and member of the Board of ProtectDefenders.eu, in the closing speech, “human rights defenders in danger around the world do benefit from this  strong coordination between international civil society organizations and the institutions of the European Union.”

[ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, delivers emergency help and temporary relocation grants for activists at risk, who face threats due to their work and are in need of urgent support. It also provides training and capacity-building for human rights organisations. ProtectDefenders carries out monitoring, advocacy and lobbying to raise awareness about the situation of human rights defenders and their need for protection]

Source: Newsfeed – ProtectDefenders.eu

Consilium EU adopts conclusions on business and human rights

June 21, 2016

On 20 June 2016, the EU Council adopted its conclusions on business and human rights [its 3477th meeting – COHOM 78]. The full document is available through the link below. The main paragraph mentioning human rights defenders is no 19: “The Council recognises the importance of building capacity both within EU Delegations and Member States’ embassies to work effectively on business and human rights issues, including supporting human rights defenders working on corporate accountability and providing guidance to companies on the Guiding Principles. The Council invites the High Representative and the Commission to develop the necessary tools for EU Delegations to help meet these needs, including through building on the support and best practices of Member States.”

Source: Council conclusions on business and human rights – Consilium

International cooperative consortium ‘Protect the Defenders’ launched on 2 December

December 4, 2015

 

On 2 December 2015 a Consortium of organizations was launched in Brussels dedicated to coordinating support for the security and protection of human rights defenders under threat. The Consortium, called “Protect the Defenders,” is comprised of 12 organizations that work collectively to implement the EU Mechanism for Human Right Defenders.

The partners include Frontline Defenders (leader of the Consortium), FIDH, OMCT, Forum-ASIA, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), ESCR-net, Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF), International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Peace Brigades International, Protection International, Reporters without Borders and the Urgent Action Fund for Women.

Source: Protecting the Defenders through enhanced international collaboration | ESCR-Net

Protection International: 3rd online course Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders

June 3, 2014

Protection Int'I_logo_final_vertical_72dpiBrussels-based NGO Protection International will be running the third edition of its online course “Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organisations”. The course will be in English, French and Spanish, in the period 14 July 2014 – 5 October 2014. For more information:  http://protectioninternational.org/2013/09/11/new-e-learning-course-on-security-and-protection-management-for-hrd-and-social-organisations/

Protection International has vacancy for Advocacy Officer

March 25, 2014

Protection International [PI] is recruiting an Advocacy Officer. The Advocacy Officer is part of a team of three, with a Media Production Officer and an Outreach and Communication Officer, and works from PI’s head office in Brussels with occasional overseas travel. PI uses advocacy, alongside research and capacity building, to achieve a three-fold mission: empower HRDs to protect themselves, bring authorities to fulfil their duty to protect and to make stakeholders do more and better for the protection of HRD.

The Advocacy Officer:

  • supports PI’s field presence in bringing change where we operate: identification of issues, opportunities and elaboration, capacity building and implementation of influencing strategies
  • analyses relevant developments and dynamics in the international context and elaborates the corresponding lobbying agenda for PI
  • makes PI’s work and impact visible for selected audiences

Qualifications

  • University degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or related studies
  • Minimum three years of relevant experience in crafting and implementing influencing strategies in the field of human rights; specific experience in the field of the protection of human rights defenders is highly desirable.
  • Experience living and working in Asia, Africa and/or Latin-America is advantageous
  • Ability to travel to other European countries and overseas, several times a year
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian are assets
  • Knowledge of UN, European, Inter-American, Asian and/or African intergovernmental protection systems is an asset

It concerns a one-year, renewable contract with a four months’ probation period, governed by Belgian law. 30 hrs/week under flexible arrangement. Minimal relocation package. The applicant will need to obtain a Belgian work-permit. To apply send your résumé, cover letter and names and contact details of 3 references by 6 April 2014 to the following email: recruitment[at]protectioninternational.org, making mention of ‘Advocacy Officer’ in the subject line.

via Protection International PI is recruiting an Advocacy Officer Brussels, Belgium, 30hrs/week.

Protection International held international HRD meeting in Kenya in November

December 21, 2013

The Brussels-based NGO ‘Protection International’ held a Global meeting, from 18  to 22  November 2013, bringing teams from the field and its Brussels headquarters together in Mombassa, Kenya. The meeting was an opportunity for teams from Colombia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand to exchange and compare their experiences, strategies and knowledge on security management and the protection of defenders. During the meeting topics were addressed such as the conceptual framework for research on community protection networks, the psychosocial care of human rights defenders, and the use of outcome mapping to strengthen the monitoring of the work done with communities and civil society organizations. The contents of a “Facilitators Guide on protection for human rights defenders” – to be published in early 2014 – was also discussed.  [The Global Meeting follows an earlier Latin American Regional Meeting held in August in Guatemala]

via PI Global Meeting in Kenya: Strengthening Protection networks | | Protection InternationalProtection International.

Kyrgyz President says no need for ‘foreign agent law’

September 19, 2013

Further to my earlier blog post about Kyrgyzstan following the bad example of Russia in trying to create a ‘foreign agents’ obstacle for human rights defenders, I am happy to refer to Front Line latest update of 19 September 2013 which says that during a press interview on the outcomes of his working visit to Brussels on 17 September 2013, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev stated to journalists that Kyrgyzstan does not need a “foreign agent” law, a draft bill of which was opened for public discussion on 6 September 2013.

On 16 September 2013, ahead of President Atambaev’s visit to Brussels, Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Watch published a joint letter to the European Union urging EU leaders to raise concerns about human rights abuses in Kyrgyzstan and getting specific commitments from President Atambaev to address them. The letter also contained an appeal to the EU to press the Kyrgyz President for the immediate release of the wrongfully imprisoned human rights defender Azimjan Askarov http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/09/15/kyrgyzstan-free-human-rights-defender-ensure-fair-retrial as well as on the draft bill http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/23774Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

 

Chen Guangcheng pressures EU to go more public human in China

May 20, 2013

Relatives of the blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng claim they are suffering a growing campaign of abuse, almost a year after he fled his home in China for the US.

(Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng Photo: AP)
On 19 May 2013 , reports for the Daily Telegraph from Brussels that the blind human rights lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, the exiled Chinese dissident has demanded that the European Union (EU) must go public with the results of human rights talks with China’s leaders, and publish its own list of people known to be suffering repression and persecution. Chen Guangcheng wants Western leaders to be more straightforward about their dealings with China so that the public can hold them to account: “The Chinese authorities try and pretend that they dont care about the highlighting of human right abuses but they do care. It is a responsibility to do this. If it is not pursued more actively the situation will go backwards.

via Chen Guangcheng pressures the EU on secret human rights talks with China – Telegraph.

Job opportunity for a fundraiser with Protection International

March 12, 2013

Brussels-based Protection International is looking for a fundraiser with a strong capacity to investigate and follow up possible funding opportunities. What PI is looking for is a person with at least two-year experience in fundraising for NGOs or relevant organisations, a strong capacity to elaborate budgets and write proposals and reports, an interest in human rights related issues, and extensive skills to work with donors constructively.

Please read the full job description on the website: http://protectioninternational.org/2013/03/12/job-opportunity-protection-international-is-looking-for-a-fundraiser/ and send your applications to recruitment@protectioninternational.org.

The deadline for submitting your applications is : 31 March 2013.