Posts Tagged ‘national level’

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights launches major report on Human Rights Defenders

March 2, 2018

While all eyes are on the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) – on 28 February – presented its report “Toward a Comprehensive Policy to Protect Human Rights Defenders,” in the context of the 167th session of the IACHR taking place in Colombia. The purpose of this report is to provide the States in the region with guidance in developing their domestic policies, programs, and protection mechanisms for human rights defenders, in keeping with inter-American human rights standards.

The work of defending human rights in the countries of the Americas has become extremely dangerous,” said the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Margarette Macaulay. “The levels of violence against people who defend human rights in our region are alarming, and the rates of impunity for these types of crimes are very high. The focus of the IACHR’s concern is on the violent deaths of rights defenders, the impunity that tends to surround these types of crimes, and the remaining vulnerability of all persons and groups on whose behalf the defender had worked. This makes it essential and urgent for the States to adopt effective measures to put an end to this situation,” she added.

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/02/22/amnestys-annual-report-2017-is-out-depressing-but-rays-of-hope/

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/07/15/documenting-the-killings-of-environmental-defenders-guardian-and-global-witness/

…….

“We are aware of and welcome the efforts made by some States to implement different mechanisms, laws, and policies to protect rights defenders, but unfortunately these have not been effective enough,” said the IACHR Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren. “That is why the IACHR in this report has laid out the main components of a comprehensive protection policy, so that such a policy can be effective and so that we can manage to stop the killings and other attacks that are putting an end to the lives of rights defenders or preventing them from doing their work. The aim of the IACHR is to provide the States with a guide on developing domestic policies, programs, mechanisms, and practices for the effective protection of human rights defenders, in accordance with Inter-American human rights standards,” he indicated.

A comprehensive protection policy is based on a recognition of the State’s interrelated and interdependent obligations to enable rights defenders to freely and safely carry out their work of defending human rights. In this sense, a comprehensive protection policy refers to a broad, all-encompassing approach that requires extending protection beyond physical protection mechanisms or systems when defenders experience situations of risk. It requires implementing public policies and measures designed to respect the rights of defenders; prevent violations of their rights; diligently investigate acts of violence against them; and punish the perpetrators and masterminds of any attack on human rights defenders.

The report also analyzes the main steps forward and challenges in terms of the efforts underway in some States, such as the national protection mechanisms, legislation, and policies and programs that exist in some countries. It also makes recommendations to the States on how to ensure better implementation of prevention, protection, and investigation measures to achieve a comprehensive protection policy.

..Human rights defenders are an essential pillar for the strengthening and consolidation of democracies in the hemisphere. Acts of violence against human rights defenders not only infringe on the defenders’ own rights as human beings but also undermine the critical role they play in society and in upholding democratic standards.

Contact info María Isabel RiveroIACHR Press and Communication Office mrivero@oas.org

http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/039.asp

Unfortunately the UN voted on the Resolution on human rights defenders!

November 26, 2015

The answer to yesterday’s post [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/will-the-un-today-adopt-the-strongest-possible-resolution-on-human-rights-defenders-ask-over-100-ngos/] is that the UN did vote in favor but UNFORTUNATELY did have to vote at all. The unanimity by which UN resolutions on this topic were adopted since 1999 is now lost. But at least there is clarity: Russia and China were the main opponents.

In New York today, China and Russia broke the unanimity of the international community by requesting a vote on the resolution presented by Norway,” commented Florian Irminger, Head of Advocacy at the Human Rights House Network. The vote by 117 in favour of the resolution, against 14, and with 40 abstentions, in fact reflects the situation in which human rights defenders work in the countries that voted against the resolution.

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.

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/important-human-rights-council-side-event-on-11-march-to-be-followed-on-internet/

Guidelines issued to protect human rights defenders | Colombo Gazette.

UN Human Rights Council Adopts New Resolution on Human Rights Defenders

March 29, 2014

This week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted its annual resolution on human rights defenders. The resolution, led by Norway and Ireland, was co-sponsored by 74 nation-states and adopted by consensus. The new emphasis – in line with the latest report by the departing Rapporteur, Margaret Sekaggya – is on the importance of domestic law and administrative provisions which protect human rights defenders from criminalization, stigmatization, impediments, and obstructions contrary to international human rights law. The misuse of national security and counterterrorism legislation to crackdown on human rights defenders is also explicitly warned against. The resolution explicitly refers to the impact of how a country’s laws can be used by a government to further or impede the work of human rights defenders within the country.

for the full text see: http://www.ishr.ch/sites/default/files/article/files/140328-res-council-25-hrds-l24-as-adopted.pdf