To mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders in 1998, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Ms Mary Lawlor, will focus on successes achieved by human rights defenders (HRDs) in her upcoming thematic report to the Human Rights Council. The report will demonstrate how the work of HRDs is crucial in helping achieve more just and equitable societies.
It highlights six thematic areas where defenders have achieved notable successes, namely: accessing justice, changing laws, protecting the vulnerable, surviving in hostile contexts, holding business accountable and securing the release of unjustly detained prisoners. Advances achieved by women human rights defenders were particularly noticeable.
The objective of the report and the side event is to re-emphasise that the work of HRDs is legitimate, effective and for the common good. The examples in the report show why HRDs deserve high-level political support and protection, instead of the threats and attacks which they all too often face.
Organizers/co-sponsors: The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, the Governments of Norway, Ireland, Mongolia, Colombia, Uruguay, Malawi, South Africa, Mexico, Marshall Islands, Czechia and Lithuania, and civil society organisations Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Gulf Centre for Human Rights, DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project), West African Human Rights Defenders Network, Southern Africa Human Rights Defender Network, The Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative (IM-Defensoras), Amnesty International, Civicus, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Front Line Defenders, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund.
Date: Tuesday, 14 March 2023
Time: Reception at 14:00 followed by event from 14:30-15:30
Venue: Restaurant Vieux Bois, Av. de la Paix 12, 1202 Genève
Moderator: Imogen Faulks, BBC correspondent in Geneva
Ambassador of Norway, H.E Tine Mørch Smith
- UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Ms Mary Lawlor
- E Gustavo Gallon
- Tara Houska
- Daniel Goinic
Ambassador of Ireland, H.E Noel White
Information and registration
The event was conducted in English.