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Item 3: Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders

Item 3: Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders. Statement by Norway on 28 February 2019, as delivered by Minister Counsellor Herborg Alvsaaker.

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Thank you Madame Vice President

We welcome the Special Rapporteur Mr. Michel Forsts`, report to the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights defenders, and thank him for his presentation.

Norway would like to recognize the tireless efforts of the Special Rapporteur in carrying out his mandate and thereby bringing to our attention the great adversity faced by human rights defenders around the world. You have our full and strong support.

We appreciate your recent report on the situation of women human rights defenders, including the elaboration on the gendered risks faced by women human rights defenders. We note your recommendation that ensuring a safe and enabling environment for women human rights defenders, requires states to take into consideration their specific and diverse needs.

Regarding challenges and risks faced by specific groups of WHRDs, Norway would like to express a particular concern regarding those working on women’s sexual and reproductive rights.  At a time when women's sexual and reproductive rights are coming under pressure, it is particularly important to strengthen those that are at the forefront of defending these rights.

We would also like to recognize the challenges faced by WHRDs working on land and environment rights, and the need for strengthened protection against violence and killings, including sexual violence, against these defenders.

Norway is proposing to focus on environmental human rights defenders, including women environmental human rights defenders, in this session’s thematic resolution.

We hope the Human Rights Council will pass a strong resolution that clearly recognizes the positive contribution of environmental human rights defenders for sustainable development, and invite all member states  and stakeholders to take an active part in the informal consultations.

Thank you