Posts Tagged ‘guidelines’

Is there ANY way to engage people with human rights communication?

November 10, 2015

Yes there is!” according to True Heroes Films (THF)THF_SIMPLE

A recent assessment of the communication practice of Geneva-based human rights organisations carried out by THF showed that many of them face the same challenges.

In a newsletter (see link at the bottom of this post) and in the below guidelines, THF summarizes these challenges and the solutions identified together with communicators from the organisations assessed. There are some nice cartoons by © Hani Abbas.

The guidelines are by necessity of a general nature and are based on the experience of NGOs in the Geneva area, but they they may help also others in thinking about their communications problems: Read the rest of this entry »

Guidelines issued to protect human rights defenders in Sri Lanka

September 7, 2015

The Colombo Gazette of 17 July 2015 carried an article that is interesting in the light of efforts to create an enabling national environment for Human Rights Defenders in Sri Lanka:

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has issued guideline for state authorities to ensure the protection of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) including ensuring their freedom of association.

The Human Rights Commission noted that Human Rights defenders act as the voice of vulnerable person or group or community or society and engage to ensure universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“They work very hard, for example; they document violations, reveal the human rights violations and help to redress these violations by peaceful means. HRDs are facing challenges in diverse political and social context at national, regional and international levels. Sometimes their activities are neglected or underestimated or seen as something negative by some of the authorities. Therefore they undergo severe risk when they carry out the activities to promote and protect human rights,” the Human Rights Commission said.

It said that the protection of HRDs is a corporate responsibility of the State, Civil societies and international communities. Although, State authorities have primary responsibility to protect the HRDs and ensure a conducive working environment where HRDs can operate free from hindrance and insecurity. All of them respect the rights of HRDs and support the activities of the HRDs to promote the overall enjoyment of human rights.

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) as a National Human rights Institution (NHRI) has to perform as a defender of HRDs. HRCSL has serious concern for the Protection of HRDs. For this purpose the HRCSL has developed guideline for state authorities. These guidelines will assist the state authorities to protect the HRDs and ensure the internal dignity of the HRDs.

The guidelines call on State authorities to recognize the activities of the HRDs to protect and promote all human and fundamental freedoms which are guaranteed by the Sri Lankan laws including the Constitution of Sri Lanka and International human rights laws, be mindful of the fact that HRDs activities have the true intention to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedom, are transparent, visible and accountable, are not a threat to state sovereignty, national unity and national security and are activate through peaceful means. 

The guidelines also note that all the human rights defenders or groups or organs of society shall be treated equally according to Article 12(2) of the Constitution which ensures “No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, and place of birth or any one of such grounds”. Any special or unequal treatment or discrimination will be an express violation of Article 12 of the Constitution.

State authorities have also been told to recognize the freedom of association of human rights defenders or group or organs of society for a common purpose or joint action towards protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedom. Unreasonable restriction, suppression, dismissal, prohibition, negatively viewed or any such ways will be a sign of violation of the freedom of association which is guaranteed by Article 14 and 12 of the Constitution and other domestic laws.

State authorities should respect, protect and ensure the right of freedom of speech and expression of HRDs related to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedom. Restrict, prohibit, show contempt, deform, criticize, comment negatively or any such ways will be an expression of violation of Article 14 and 12 of the Constitution.

HRCSL also notes that State authorities must ensure the right of movement of human rights defenders or groups or organs of society to meet the vulnerable groups particularly their rights violated or peaceful parade or travelling for peaceful gathering and seek, obtain and receive information for the purpose to facilitate the victim to seek appropriate remedies. If the movement of HRDs is unlawfully or unjustifiably restricted it violates article 14 of the Constitution.

Guidelines issued to protect human rights defenders | Colombo Gazette.

Swiss Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders analyzed by civil society

November 2, 2014

In December 2013, the Swiss Government became one of the few countries to issue specific Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders ( As in the case of all guidelines, the real test is in the implementation and on 12 June 2014, the Centre for Peacebuilding (KOFF) at Swisspeace organized a conference on the protection of HRDs, which brought together HRDs from Guatemala, Honduras, Serbia, Russia and Sri Lanka, Swiss government officials and representatives of Swiss civil society in order to give consideration to the different challenges that exist when it comes to HRD protection and, in particular, implementation of the Swiss guidelines.

Read the rest of this entry »

Groundbreaking LGBTI Human Rights Guidelines Adopted by EU

June 25, 2013

The Council of the European Union [the EU’s 27 foreign affairs ministers], which previously adopted a non-binding toolkit to promote LGBT human rights, has upgraded its guidelines in order “to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.” The new document is binding and represents a step forward in international human rights law. The LGBTI Guidelines instruct EU diplomats around the globe to defend the human rights of LGBTI people. EU.

full document at:

Quick reminder of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders

January 13, 2012

European Union

Image by erjkprunczyk via Flickr

The European Union Guidelines on human rights defenders were created to help staff in the embassies of EU member states to protect threatened human rights defenders (HRDs). In short they tell EU diplomatic missions to:

  • Produce periodic reports outlining the broad human rights situation, noting specific cases of concern.
  • Take urgent local action when needed and make recommendations for further EU involvement.
  • Prepare local strategies in co-ordination with HRDs, with special attention given to the protection of women defenders.
  • Organise regular meetings between HRDs and missions diplomats
  • Maintain contact with HRDs through receiving them in the missions and visiting their areas of work.
  • Publicly recognise HRDs and their work through use of traditional and new-media methods of communication.
  • Visit, where appropriate, HRDs in custody or under house arrest and attend trials as observers.
  • Raise specific cases with third country governments.
  • Involve HRDs in the preparation, follow-up and assessment of human rights discussions with third country governments.
  • Provide measures for swift assistance of HRDs in danger, including the issuing of emergency visas and the offer of temporary shelter in EU member states.
  • Provide access to financial support where necessary.

Urgent local action can be organised through “local working groups”, of which HRDs should be members.Integral to the Guidelines is a duty to “proactively” support human rights defenders on the world stage through political dialogue and promotion of the UN Human Rights Council and its Special Rapporteurs.  When, for example, the EU President, High Representative for Foreign Affairs or other relevant official visits a country with human rights issues they should seek to meet with HRDs wherever possible and reflect any concerns in their discussions with third country governments.

This is not news but at the beginning of the new year it is good to have a reminder AND REMIND THE EU DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIVES  of all this laid down in 20 short paragraphs; for full text see: