Illustration: Atelier für Zeitreisen, for ISHR


Celebrating 25 years of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders

25 years ago, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders! It's time to celebrate the Declaration, human rights defenders and the contributions they have made for our societies.

The declaration has been essential to protect those who defend human rights. It’s a landmark document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of States, human rights defenders, and all actors in society in ensuring a safe environment where defenders are recognised, valued, and encouraged to work for the promotion and protection of human rights.

As part of this 25th anniversary celebration, this week Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Defend Defenders, Forum Asia, Front line Defenders, FIDH, Gulf Centre for Human Rights, ICNL, ILGA World, ISHR, IM Defensoras, MENA WHRD Coalition, OMCT and Protection International launched a collaborative project to analyse the contributions of the Declaration, reflect on defenders’ lived experiences and needs, analyse the evolutions and developments in international and regional contexts and jurisprudence relating to defenders over the past 25 years. 

Visit the project page

One of the outcomes of the project will be the creation of a supplement to the Declaration that will be a civil society-led document that seeks to compile developments in international law that have taken place over the last 25 years. It aims to guide change on the ground over the next 25 years, and beyond! 

The project was launched through a side event at the margins of the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. The event enhanced the awareness of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders, encouraged a greater dialogue on the protection needs of defenders and heard from human rights defenders on their needs and the role the Declaration has played to date. 

We’re seeking the input and voices from human rights defenders everywhere. To do so, we are consulting online and offline with human rights defenders across the globe. 

Take the online survey & share it with your networks 

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