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Essentially a series of recommendations that journalists should follow if harassed or attacked, and procedures that police should follow to protect threatened journalists.

Resolution 538/17: Security Protocol for journalists at great risk

Type of instrument: Protocol
Status: (as of 1 January 2022)
Adopted on 22 June 2017

Comments on the instrument:

The Protocol is relatively short and is essentially a series of recommendations that journalists should follow in case of harassment or attack. As for the State, it establishes a procedure that the police should follow to protect threatened journalists in heightened risk. Importantly, this Protocol recognises the elevated risk that journalists are exposed to and the need for a differentiated approach to protect them. 

At the time of publication, civil society was in the process of discussing and redrafting a law for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders, that would complement this Protocol.

Does the instrument contain specific provisions easily used to restrict human rights defenders’ rights?

Mechanism on the protection of human rights defenders established in the instrument?
The protocol establishes a procedure for the protection of journalists, not what is generally understood as a protection mechanism.


Comparison to the Model Law

Below is a short summary of the instrument compared to the Model Law. For additional information and analysis by ISHR on Paraguay, click here.



Analysis / articles

Cooperation with human rights defenders, civil society, and national and international human rights bodies



Training of mechanism’s personnel on HR and fundamental freedoms



Periodic reviews with independent experts and CSOs on the functioning of the Mechanism



Resources for adequate functioning of the Mechanism / transparency on resource usage 



Public acknowledgement of human rights defenders’ work and rights (promotion of UN Declaration)



Disseminate information on protection programmes for human rights defenders, Mechanism’s work



Development of protocols and guidelines based on best practices to protect human rights defenders



Assist investigations for prosecuting offences against human rights defenders



Granting of protective measures based off a specific risk assessment


2(a,b,c), 3

Review / appeal of Mechanism decision before courts or independent authority



Confidentiality and personal data protection



Actions to achieve structural changes (annual reports on the situation of human rights defenders, advising government on laws and policies related to human rights defenders) 



Quick access

Resolution 538/17