The legal recognition and protection of human rights defenders is crucial to ensuring that they can work in a safe, supportive environment and be free from attacks, reprisals and unreasonable restrictions.
A Model National Law on the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders was developed in collaboration with over 500 defenders from every region, settled and adopted by 28 of the world's leading human rights experts and jurists in 2016. It is intended to guide and assist States, human rights defenders and other actors to ensure the full and effective implementation of the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the UN Declaration on human rights defenders) at the national level.
The Model Law is a long, comprehensive and technical document that includes both model legal provisions and commentary stipulating the sources and basis for each provision. This Quick Guide, accompanying the Model Law, has been developed to communicate the sections of the Model Law, including the rights of human rights defenders and obligations of States, in an accessible manner.
This Quick Guide should be read in conjunction with the Model Law. We are thankful to Front Line Defenders for its support in the development of this Guide.