National and international organisations sent a letter to the new Colombian government with three recommendations to prevent crimes and improve the security of human rights defenders.
ISHR made the following statement to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2018.
Thank you Mr President.
ISHR was struck by three elements, in particular, of the update.
First, we were struck by the increase in attacks, restrictions and reprisals against defenders of economic and social rights in States. The High Commissioner mentioned China, Honduras, Iran and Sudan. Let us be clear. There can be no sustainable development without respect for ESC rights and ESC rights defenders. States that attack or fail to protect ESC rights defenders violate the rights for which they advocate for. They also demonstrate a manifest lack of commitment to the 2030 Agenda. This is not win-win. It is lose-lose for everyone, and particularly for the poor.
Second, we are deeply concerned at the flagrant lack of cooperation – or the highly selective cooperation – with this Council and its mechanisms by certain members, including Burundi, the Philippines and Venezuela. Adherence to membership standards is essential to this Council’s legitimacy, influence and impact on the ground. It is also a legal obligation which should be promoted by the President and the Bureau, and enforced by Member States of the General Assembly.
Finally, like the High Commissioner, we are inspired by the many human rights defenders worldwide who continue to stand up and speak out, often in the face of retaliation and repression. Across the globe, people are protesting against power, prejudice and privilege – whether on the streets in Women’s Marches or on social media in #MeToo. They’re demanding participation, accountability, representation and respect for fundamental rights. In these people and movements, on this International Women’s Day, in this year of the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, there is cause for celebration, ambition and hope.
Watch the statement here:
Contact: Salma El Hosseiny, Human Rights Council Advocate, ISHR at [email protected]
Check out our updated world map on legislative protection, which collates developments in national legal instruments related to defenders and compares existing and draft instruments with the standards set by the Model Law.
ISHR, along with multiple other NGOs, released a joint statement condemning the criminalisation of women human rights defender Milena Quiroz and calling for her right to a fair trial and her right to defend human rights to be guaranteed.