Illustration: ISHR

Marking the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders

Progress in international law, norms and standards, 25 years on.

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Not in Geneva on 20 June? Watch the event on ISHR's YouTube channel instead.

The last 25 years have seen significant developments in international law and standards on the role, recognition and protection of human rights defenders.

Five years ago, the Human Rights Defenders World Summit called for action, including to: “Take stock of the developments in normative frameworks related to the protection of defenders since 1998 and further develop and deepen the norms contained in the Declaration with the view to afford enhanced protection".

The Declaration +25 Project is a civil society-led initiative that seeks to do just that while putting civil society at the centre of a conversation fundamental to them and their work - the right to defend rights.

This side event, which is co-sponsored by a number of civil society organisations, will: 

  • enhance awareness of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders, and of the Declaration +25 Project
  • present developments in the last 25 years in international law and standards on the role, recognition and protection of human rights defenders
  • encourage greater dialogue on the protection needs of defenders
  • hear from human rights defenders on their protection needs and the role the Declaration has played to date. 


  • Ketakandriana Rafitoson, Transparency International - Initiative Madagascar
  • Camila Zuluaga Hoyos, Colombian Commission of Jurists 
  • Robby Mokgalaka, The Groundwork Trust, South Africa
  • Birgit Kainz-Labbe, Coordinator of Civic Space Unit, OHCHR

Intervention from the floor:  Abdullah Ahmadi, Director of Afghanistan Democracy and Development Organisation 

Moderator: Tess McEvoy, International Service for Human Rights

The event will be live-streamed on ISHR's YouTube channel

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