Hong Kong workers protesting

Promote rights and accountability

States must respect and protect human rights defenders and fulfil their human rights obligations at the international, regional and national levels, enabling and promoting their work. Businesses and other non-State actors must respect human rights and contribute to a safe and enabling environment for defenders where they operate or have influence.

Our work to ensure that States, businesses and other non-State actors respect and protect human rights defenders focuses on four key issues:

  • States must stop or refrain from restricting, hindering or criminalising human rights defenders and their work, including by repealing or amending restrictive legislation.
  • States must consult with and become positive advocates for human rights defenders and take legislative and policy action to respect and protect human rights defenders at the national, regional and international levels.
  • States and international and regional mechanisms must hold States that restrict, hinder or criminalise human rights defenders and their work accountable.
  • Businesses and other non-State actors must be effectively regulated with respect to human rights and human rights defenders, consult with and become positive advocates for defenders, take action to respect and contribute to the protection of defenders, refrain from actions that restrict or violate their rights, and are held accountable when they fail to do so