VIDEO: The UN and providing political protection to human rights defenders
The UN and providing political protection to human rights defenders
Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the dangers that human rights defenders face while carrying out their work, which is usually in complex and hostile environments, increasing the danger to them.
There are many cases in which human rights defenders are exposed to direct danger, such as if the country's laws criminalize people who carry out or defend certain types of human rights activities. Defenders are also exposed to danger when the law prohibits human rights activity on the one hand, but on the other hand it overlooks the punishment of those who threaten human rights defenders.
The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998, defines defenders as "those who work alone or in association with others to protect or promote human rights. They seek to document and publish information on human rights violations locally, regionally and internationally. They also seek to support victims of these violations, hold accountable those responsible for abuses, develop good governance, encourage authorities to fulfill their contractual obligations and support democratic transformation."
The United Nations played its role in protecting human rights and their defenders in the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Societal Organs to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which it adopted in December 1998.