Posts Tagged ‘ProtectDefenders.eu’

EU human rights committee condemns India’s arrest of human rights defenders

June 1, 2020

Maria Arena is the chairperson of the Subcommittee of Human Rights of the European Parliament member of Socialist and Democrats parliamentary group. Photo: Reporter

20 May 2020 the chairperson of the Subcommittee of Human Rights of the European Parliament sent a letter to Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, condemning the arrest of human rights defenders under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In her letter, Maria Arena said the European body has been closely following the arrests of human rights defenders Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha by the National Investigative Agency in India.

Academic and Dalit author Teltumbde and human rights defender Navlakha had surrendered to the police last month after exhausting their possible legal remedies.

Nine other defenders have been in jail since 2018 in the Bhima Koregaon case, where the charges relate to caste violence around an Ambedkarite event and an alleged Maoist plot to foment armed revolution and possibly assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2018, the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had issued a statement against terror charges being invoked against the activists.

It is particularly alarming to note that human rights defenders cannot conduct advocacy activities, notably in favor of India’s poorest and most marginalised communities, without becoming subject to intimidation and harassment,” Arena said in her letter.

Equally worrying is the fact that terrorism charges, including under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have been used to silence them,” she noted pointing out that by United Nations Special Procedures, this clearly represents a violation of international human rights standards.

The letter further stated that to date, the European Parliament had noted that various forms of legitimate peaceful protests against laws, policies and governmental actions, including the Citizenship Amendment Act, had been portrayed as terrorist activities under this legislation, resulting in a number of arrests. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/10/07/india-attacks-on-human-rights-defenders-abound-under-unlawful-activities-prevention-act/]

This is notably the case for human rights activists such as Safoora Zargar, Gulfisha Fatima, Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Dr Kafeel Khan, Asif Iqbal and Sharjeel Imam, who were recently arrested by the police,” the letter noted.

Against this background, there are also increased fears that the legislation might confer discretionary powers upon state agencies. India, she said, should do much more to ensure a safe and conducive environment for civil society working in the country and consider enacting a law on the protection and promotion of human rights defenders.

In a similar vein, ProtectDefenders on May 26 2020 reports “Increasing attacks against human rights defenders in India and Guatemala”. …..

Over the past month, ProtectDefenders.eu has received a considerable and growing number of reports regarding attacks, threats, and alerts affecting human rights defenders in India. This information alerts to the numerous acts of police and judicial harassment in the repression of legitimate activities in favor of human rights. Among other incidents, police harassment and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders were reported in Manipur State, in relation to statements made to criticise the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic by local authorities.

Safoora Zargar, a 27-years old student and woman human rights defender unjustly detained since 10 April, is one of the OMCT’s campaign #FacesOfHope

For the OMCT campaign see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/05/25/faces-of-hope-campaign-human-rights-defenders-imprisoned-worldwide/

Moreover, the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah terming the detentions of several Indian human rights activists ‘arbitrary’. It says the activists have been arrested for “their participation in peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA)” in the last few months.

The letter highlights the cases of Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, student activists who have been associated with the anti-CAA protests in Delhi and were arrested recently by the Delhi police.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/290529-eu-human-rights-subcommittee-condemns-indias-arrest-of-human-rights-activists

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/europe-flags-rights-concern/cid/1777254

https://thewire.in/rights/ifhr-anti-caa-activists-arrests-release

Follow up on HRD summit during RightsCon Tunis 2019

October 23, 2019

On 12 June 2019, ProtectDefenders.eu participated at the RightsCon Tunis 2019 panel on the Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018. A delegation of human rights defenders presented their experience of taking action to defend human rights and the consequences they had to face because of these actions. They have also mentioned the significance of the Summit 2018 had for them and what states, businesses and donors must do to ensure their fundamental role is protected and recognised in the digital sphere and beyond.  In relation to this, they have called on the Tech community to join them in the struggle for human rights. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/12/18/premiere-powerful-video-summarizes-human-rights-defenders-world-summit-2018/

At the end of the HRD World Summit 2018 in Paris, all defenders agreed on a landmark Action Plan, which was presented to the UN General Assembly in December 2018. As participants to the Paris Summit continue to spread this message around the world, this panel was an opportunity to remind the world of the essential work they do and the need to create a safe and enabling environment for all those who actively defend human rights.

The Action Plan calls on Governments, corporations, international financial institutions, donors and others to take practical steps to ensure human rights defenders are recognised and protected, including by adopting national governmental action plans and legislation, and protecting defenders as a key priority in foreign policy, particularly women human rights defenders, LGBT+, indigenous rights defenders and other marginalized defenders who face the most risk and exclusion.

https://www.protectdefenders.eu/en/newsletter/october-2019_44#the-human-rights-defenders-world-summit-at-rightscon-tunis-2019-298

Extra funds from ProtectDefenders.eu for human rights defenders in Turkey

October 21, 2019

In consideration of the latest developments in Turkey creating an ever less enabling environment for human rights defenders, with the support of ProtectDefenders.eu Secretariat, five international organizations working in the human rights field established a new grant-making program to provide support to human rights defenders in Turkey. The Comprehensive Support to Human Rights Defenders in Turkey program is funded by the European Union. The project aims to protect human rights defenders at risk, support human rights defender organizations in continuing to carry out their work while strengthening their domestic and international networks and increase their capacities in documenting human rights abuses, access to justice mechanisms and advocating for a more enabling environment for their work in Turkey.

Image result for protectdefenders.eu

The project is offering two types of grants in order to meet its objectives and address comprehensively human rights defenders’ needs in the country. Protection grants pay for provisions to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and their organizations at risk through rapid response measures. Institutional support grants are designed to support human rights defender organizations in their work with two components . Core funding aims to ensure that human rights defenders can continue their daily human rights work. Grants for projects and/or activities aim to increase the capacity of human rights defenders in a broad range of areas. Human rights defenders who can benefit from the grant-making program can be individual human rights defenders, registered civil society organizations and unregistered groups, initiatives or networks who can use financial support for their human rights work. The project will give priority to those who are working in the most difficult situations such as remote areas and small cities, those who are specifically targeted for their area of human rights work and those who face obstacles to access funding to maintain their work including women HRDs, LGBTI HRDs, journalists and bloggers, and those denouncing the use of torture or working with survivors of torture. Human rights defenders are invited to submit their proposals starting from today on our website. The call for applications will remain open and ProtectDefenders.eu will welcome applications on a rolling basis. For more information about our grant-making programme, please visit ProtectDefenders.eu Turkey website

https://protectdefenders.eu/en/turkey.html

 

CONSULTANCY VACANCY – Final evaluation of the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism

July 25, 2019

 

announced on 23 July 2019 that it is looking for a consultancy team to conduct an external evaluation at the end of the first phase of the Project. This evaluation should focus on documenting the impact that the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism has had on the situation of human rights defenders during 37 months of implementation and whether the Consortium has delivered in accordance with the Project proposal and main objective of the Project. The evaluation should focus in particular on the direct support to human rights defenders under components and should compare this with other programmes and the broader EU support to HRDs. It should also provide recommendations to improve the relevance and effectiveness of the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism in its follow-up phase of implementation. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/05/28/the-eu-human-rights-defenders-mechanism-a-short-overview/

The evaluation should concentrate as far as possible on the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism in its entirety. It is not the intention to evaluate the performance of the individual ProtectDefenders.eu Partners, although comparisons of practices can be used when relevant in order to draw lessons learned and contribute to improve overall performance.

The terms of reference of this assignment are available here.

Applicants are requested to send their submissions to recruit@protectdefenders.eu, with the subject “Evaluation consultantby 16 August 2019.

The EU Human Rights Defenders’ mechanism – a short overview

May 28, 2019

Many readers of this blog wil already follow ProtectDefenders.eu [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/02/27/10611/]. Still, for those who don’t here follows a short overview taken from a 31 May 2019 communication which gives an impressive tally of the last three year: 

Over the past three years, ProtectDefenders.eu – the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism implemented by a Consortium of international civil society organisations, has emerged as a solid, successful and crucial tool for at-risk human rights defenders, and as an increasingly referenced instrument within the international human rights defenders community. As per the three-years report, ProtectDefenders.eu has stepped up the practical support available to HRDs at risk and local human rights NGOs, and mobilised resources in favour of at least 30,018 defenders in a timely and comprehensive manner.

In a context marked by the increasing demand for support from human rights defenders operating in the most difficult contexts, ProtectDefenders.eu…

  • has granted emergency support to 1,402 human rights defenders at high risk, in order to implement security measures, such as emergency relocation, individual security, medical support, or legal support. Over the past three years, the countries from which the highest number of HRDs received support were Syria, Burundi, Honduras, Russia, China, Iran, and DRC.
  • has facilitated and funded temporary relocation programmes for 459 human rights defenders (and their families when needed) with the support of comprehensive accompaniment schemes within host institutions from all over the world. For this purpose, ProtectDefenders.eu has maintained and broadened the EU Temporary Relocation Platform, supported the creation of new host organisations and engaged as an essential counterpart for human rights defenders in need for relocation and for host organisations.
  • has expanded the capacitites of more than 173 local human rights organisations, communities, and groups operating in the most dangerous contexts, through funding (such as seed-funding, core-funding and lifeline support) and contributions to develop sensitive initiatives and capacity-building programmes.
  • has provided capacity-development and training for at least 6,673 defenders aimed at empowering them to better manage their own security and to develop effective stragies and action to help them advance their their work in defence of Human Rights.
  • has provided effective guidance and immediate responses to 2,600 human rights defenders thanks to direct access to the 24/7 hotline, the ProtectDefenders.eu single-entry points, and direct contact with the Secretariat.
  • has monitored the situation of at least 1,323 human rights defenders in the field, through 284 fact-finding and advocacy missions, trial monitoring, accompaniment, or visits to prison.has mobilised public and media attention, as well as political responses on more than 5,100 individual cases such as attacks or threats against defenders through appeals, letters or petitions:
  • has reached out to at least 4,289 of the less connected, most targeted and at-risk defenders around the world, through 60 initiatives, such as missions to remote areas.

ProtectDefenders.eu aims at reaching out to the less connected and particularly targeted defenders and these groups (such as Women Human Rights Defenders, LGBTI+ rights defenders, land and environment rights defenders, indigenous rights defenders, or defenders from remote areas) represent approximately 75% of the beneficiaries.

https://www.protectdefenders.eu/en/newsfeed.html#newsletter-article-288

ProtectDefenders is seeking an experienced manager for its Brussels office: 15 October deadline!

October 9, 2018

ProtectDefenders.eu is the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. The mechanism is implemented by a Consortium of 12 international NGOs with the support of the European Commission. The EU HRD mechanism began its operations on 1st October 2015 for a duration of 36 months, this project has been extended by another year, with the possibility of renewal for 3 years in 2019.

ProtectDefenders.eu is seeking to recruit an experienced manager to run the Secretariat of the mechanism in Brussels and to ensure coordination of the project implementation and all related financial and narrative reporting. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced manager with strong communication skills who will play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the project.

…..

  • Tasks & General Responsibilities:

    The HoS reports directly to the Chair of the Board of ProtectDefenders.eu. She/He works under the supervision and management of the Board with the assistance of other Secretariat staff members: she/he coordinates effectively all elements of the mechanism so as to help deliver the commitments of the Consortium in an efficient and effective manner; provides overall representation of, and coordination between, Consortium members; ensures liaison with the EU Commission, EEAS, EP and other external actors; manages the Secretariat and its staff.

……

  • Experience/knowledge:
    •   Masters Degree in International Relations, Human Rights, Law or other related field
    •   Minimum of five years of successfully managing the implementation of complex projects, ideally

      EU funded projects, preferably with an international NGO

    •   Demonstrated experience in developing and managing large budgets, with preference for previous

      experience with a Consortium or a network.

    •   Experience in working on projects funded by major international donors, with preference for

      previous experience with EU.

    •   Strong coordination/negotiation skills with the ability to effectively coordinate among partner

      organisations and with diverse partners and stakeholders

    •   Understanding of the security and protection of human rights defenders around the world.

      Skills:

    •   Excellent oral and written English language skills, French or Spanish requested
    •   Strong management skills
    •   Strong analytical skills
    •   Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

      This position will be available to begin from November 2018. The initial contract is a fix-term contract up to December 2019. The Head of Secretariat will be based in ProtectDefenders.eu Secretariat in Brussels. The Head of Secretariat should have the necessary permit to work in the EU. The gross monthly salary for the position is €4.100 with lunch vouchers, transportation costs, health insurance coverage and retirement plan.

      Applications comprising a CV with at least two references and a cover letter should be sent by email to recruit@protectdefenders.eu by October 15th 2018. Interviews will be planned in the week of the 22nd of October.

Announcement of the Human Rights Defenders World Summit in Paris, October 2018

July 24, 2018

ProtectDefenders.eu, the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism, is organising the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WORLD SUMMIT 2018 – to be held in Paris, October 29-31 2018 at Palais de Chaillot (Espace Niemeyer). The event is organised with a coalition of international NGOs and human rights defenders networks – including Amnesty International, AWID, the International Service for Human Rights, and ProtectDefenders.eu’ board members FIDH, Front Line Defenders, OMCT, and RSF -, with the support of the European Union.

On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018 will constitute an opportunity to review the progress made in the defence of human rights and in the protection of all those that defend these rights in all their diversity since the adoption of the Declaration. By creating a unique platform for the human rights defenders’ voices to be heard, this Summit will also call for the international community to reinforce its commitments to protect human rights defenders, celebrate the essential work HRDs carry out in the most difficult environments, and raise awareness about the threats, obstacles and restrictions HRD are constantly confronted with. The Summit intends to shape the upcoming human rights defenders’ agenda, showing the way forward to the international community engaged in the protection of human rights defenders and the promotion of a safer and more enabling environment.

To learn more about the Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018, and meet the HRDs who are confirming their participation, check for updates at the Summit’s website.

Open call for human rights defenders

The  Human  Rights  Defenders  World  Summit  2018 will bring together a diverse group of over 150 HRDs, from around the world, for three days of meetings, panel discussions, networking and workshopping. These HRDS who are at the forefront of the struggles for social, political and environmental changes will have the opportunity to connect, work and debate together and engage with regional and international human rights organisations, global leaders from governments, the United  Nations, and the private sector. In addition to a focus on those HRDs who are most vulnerable and at risk, the Summit will be a unique space to convene marginalised groups, including ethnic and religious minorities, diverse gender identity activists, indigenous peoples and other defenders who are geographically remote from centres of power, media and international attention.

For achieving this goal, the World Summit is launching an open call for human rights defenders to present their candidacies. The aim of this call is to reach out to the most isolated and less connected defenders, traditionally underrepresented, members of less visible categories and groups or profiles of special concern. This call is, thus, very important to ensure and reinforce the representativeness, inclusiveness and diversity of the Summit’s participants.

This call will be open until 1st September, and is available in the HRD World Summit website, in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian. Please, share it widely within your network!

Communication and coordination

Louise Levayer – llevayer@amnesty.fr

Javier Roura – jroura@protectdefenders.eu

Website

https://hrdworldsummit.org

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/hrdworldsummit2018

Twitter

https://twitter.com/HRDWorldSummit

EU entity report foresees funding problems for human rights defenders

February 27, 2018

On 26 February 2018 ProtectDefenders.eu published a report on the diminishing prospect of sufficient funding for human rights defenders.

With human rights, democracy and the rule of law around the world increasingly under attack, those who stand up to defend them have an ever-more central role to play in sustainable development and conflict resolution. As civil society space closes around them, and governments use repressive tactics to impede their work, human rights defenders (HRDs) often put their lives, liberty, and safety at risk, and require support and protection in order to go on. In a context where the level of need and demand from HRDs has significantly risen, increased support will be required in the coming years to meet the demands of HRDs operating in the context of a global backlash. The level of funding and support provided by international donor community no longer matches the magnitude of the needs of Human Rights Defenders, as observed in the ProtectDefenders.eu report on funding on support for HRDs, launched last January at a public seminar held in the European Parliament. Human Rights Defenders, in fact, are receiving declining support.

In its conclusion, this report shows the high volatility of the level of funding available for HRDs at risk, as well as worrying indications that public funding for HRDs may be set to decrease in coming years due to loss of support from traditional allies.

The main conclusions of this report are available on ProtectDefenders.eu website

ProtectDefenders.eu presents a report on funding available for Human Rights Defenders

ProtectDefenders.eu held its annual meeting 2017

December 28, 2017

The Newsletter of December 2017 of ProtectDefenders.eu contains a report of the 2017 Annual Meeting. The highlights:

On the 8th of November, ProtectDefenders.eu held its second annual meeting, under the motto “Champions of change – Human rights defenders at the forefront of development and democracy“. More than 30 human rights defenders at risk from all regions of the world who have benefited from the project gathered in Brussels with representatives of international NGOs and European institutions. This unique meeting has successfully brought together grassroots activists working on the frontlines for change and leading experts on the protection of human rights defenders, universal and regional protection mechanisms, and representatives of various EU institutions implicated in the protection of human rights defenders and current development agenda.

The meeting highlighted the crucial role and impact of human rights defenders around the world as promoters of a sustainable development and engaged development actors in how to integrate the protection of human rights defenders as part of an effective development and protection agenda. The widespread attempts to de-legitimise human rights’ discourse and human rights defenders’ work worldwide were addressed, by promoting a positive narrative grounded on the universality and indivisibility of human rights and its contribution to more advanced and developed societies. Human rights defenders and high-level speakers shared strategies to enhance the protection of those who strive to defend human rights, and to develop a positive narrative on the human rights’ work, legitimising their work at the local level and taking back the human rights discourse to the centre of the international agenda.

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.”

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/04/24/video-of-the-defending-human-rights-is-not-a-crime-meeting-now-available/

https://www.protectdefenders.eu/en/newsletter.html

ProtectDefenders.eu seeks Head of Secretariat of its office in Brussels

May 8, 2017

ProtectDefenders.eu is the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. The mechanism is implemented by a Consortium of 12 international NGOs with the support of the European Commission. The EU HRD mechanism began its operations on 1st October 2015 for a duration of 36 months. ProtectDefenders.eu is seeking to recruit an experienced manager (Head of Secretariat – HoS) to run the Secretariat of the mechanism in Brussels and to ensure coordination of the project implementation and all related financial and narrative reporting.

The mission of ProtectDefenders.eu is to:

  • operate a permanent and rapid response mechanism to provide emergency support and material assistance to human rights defenders in danger;
  • manage a support programme of temporary relocation for human rights defenders at risk to relocate inside their country, within their region or abroad in case of urgent threat;
  • support and coordinate an exchange platform for organisations and stakeholders working on temporary relocation for human rights defenders including through the EU Temporary Relocation Platform;
  • provide training, support and capacity-building to human rights defenders and local organizations;
  • monitor the situation of human rights defenders and advocate for a protection agenda for Human Rights Defenders at local, regional and international level;
  • promote coordination between organizations dedicated to support for human rights defenders, EU institutions and other relevant actors.

For earlier posts on this entity: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/protectdefenders-eu/ Read the rest of this entry »