UN launches survey to identify best practices to protect human rights defenders
Nov 5, NY: Human rights activists face increasing risks, a United Nations expert said at the launch of a worldwide survey to identify effective practices to protect human rights defenders.
“In countless countries, across every region of the world, defenders are targeted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, tortured or killed,” said Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, in a press release.
He highlighted that violations are perpetrated by States as well as non-State actors, such as religious and armed groups or transnational companies.
“It is important to expose the abhorrent violations against defenders, but it is also important to showcase good practices that support and protect activists,” he said.
The aim of the survey is to demonstrate to sceptical governments that there are encouraging and supportive ways they can defend activists better,” said Forst, who has heard the testimonies of hundreds of defenders.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the survey will be used to generate a discussion at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016 on concrete actions needed to disseminate good practices, which are in place in some countries and could be duplicated in others.
The Oslo Times