Posts Tagged ‘survey’

General Assembly 2018: Human Rights Defenders were a main dish on 23 October

November 7, 2018

On 26 October 2018, the ISHR reported on how the General Assembly addressed the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Special Rapporteur Michel Forst delivered a detailed reflection and assessment of global protection efforts in his report to the General Assembly this week.

On 23/24 October, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, called the international community to action, urging open and frank dialogue and solidarity to address oppression. He addressed the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and engaged in a dialogue on his report to the General Assembly.

In light of the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, his report focused on effective implementation strategies, incorporating both a reflection of progress made over the past two decades and an overview of recommendations on how to improve systems and mechanisms moving forward. ‘The past 20 years have been an era of struggle for human rights. Victories have been hard fought and challenges have proliferated,’ the Special Rapporteur said in his report. ‘The celebration of this milestone must be tempered by a recognition of the sacrifices of human rights defenders, their families and their communities.’

After surveying 140 States, the Special Rapporteur addressed the following key matters: the evolution of the use of the term ‘human rights defenders’, mechanisms and practices to support them and legal/ administrative frameworks to protect them. “20 years ago, the Declaration laid the groundwork for the protection of human rights defenders and amplified the importance of their inclusion as a stakeholder in human rights initiatives, but there is still work to be done,” said ISHR’s Legal Counsel Tess McEvoy.

Several States voiced their support for the report and the mandate, including Spain, Iceland, Canada, Australia, EU, Poland, Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico, Liechtenstein, Estonia, Czech Republic, Colombia, France, Slovenia, Norway, US, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates.

The United States referenced the Secretary General’s report on reprisals highlighting attacks and intimidation against defenders in more than 38 countries, saying they are ‘alarmed and monitoring all allegations.’ The US then proceeded to list over 20 specific names of individuals from 14 different countries who are victims of such reprisals. These include:

Both China and Iran criticised the report on the basis that defenders, activists and social leaders do not deserve ‘special treatment’ regardless of the risks these individuals face. Cuba rejected any attempts to paint political prisoners as human rights defenders. The Russian Federation challenged the notion of ‘State obligation’ on the basis that the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders is a non-binding document. In response to the Russian Federation’s point on the non-obligatory nature of the Declaration of Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur swiftly reminded States that while the Declaration is non-binding it reaffirms other legally binding human rights obligations.

The Special Rapporteur concluded with a call to action at the upcoming Human Rights Defenders World Summit in Paris, where a statement will be prepared, including for presentation at the upcoming high-level event on defenders at the General Assembly.

The Special Rapporteur also referenced a document—outlining the results of his global survey on defenders in 140 countries—which he hoped would be published on the OHCHR website without further delay. He invited supporters of the mandate to inform OHCHR of the need to disseminate the report via the OHCHR website.

The Special Rapporteur referenced the study being prepared by the UN Secretary-General in efforts to protect global defenders. The report of this study will be shared with States in the coming weeks. The Special Rapporteur also voiced concern about the lack of NGO access to the UN and asked members of the Committee on NGOs to invite him in to engage with the Committee.

The Special Rapporteur concluded by saying that his report to the Human Rights Council in March 2019 will focus on the situation of women defenders.

https://www.ishr.ch/news/ga73-un-expert-defenders-reflects-20-years-struggle-progress-and-remaining-challenges

For earlier posts on the anniversary: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/20th-anniversary-un-declaration-on-hrds/

My blog on Human Rights Defenders in 2013: a review

January 3, 2014

A bit of transparency to start the New Year: My blog on Human Rights Defenders was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013.  In 2013, I created 644 new posts, bringing the total archive of this blog to 1,056 posts. The busiest day of the year was December 20th with 929 views [most popular post: Mariah Carey needs better-informed staff and donate her 1 million fee to Human Rights Defenders in Angola].

For those interested in more details: Click here to see the complete report.

Inputs requested for making a “context guide” for LGBTI security in Africa

December 3, 2013

For 10 years, Tactical Technology Collective have worked with human rights defenders, in order to help them better to protect their sensitive data, their communications, themselves and their communities when carrying out their work, through developing online resources, books, and carrying out regular trainings around the world. As part of this process, it has developed the “Security in a Box” book and toolkit (https://securityinabox.org) which now receives around 200,000 visits per month.
However, in order to continue improving our materials and make digital security easier to understand and contextualise for specific communities of human rights defenders, they have begun a process of creating “context guides” which make the guide more accessible for certain communities at risk. The idea of this survey is to help create and improve such a guide, for LGBTI activists from Africa, which would help the community understand the need for healthy digital security practices by demonstrating the risks they face and providing stories of best practices from others in the community.
You can find the survey at https://tacticaltech.org/africa-survey. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Daniel Ó Clunaigh: dan@tacticaltech.org.
[to get an idea of such a guide, created for LGBTI human rights defenders from the Arabic-speaking world, see in English: https://securityinabox.org/en/context/01]