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1/8/2018
20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

Human rights defenders (HRDs): the Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs has prepared a concept note on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders

In view of the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders has prepared a concept note that captures the ideas, key messages and activities he would like to propose for this anniversary.

The Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, firmly believes that the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on human rights defenders should serve as an opportunity to make the Declaration more visible and more accessible to everyone. It should be the occasion to remember and celebrate those who dedicate their lives to the defence of human rights.

In line with his mandate of promoting the effective and comprehensive implementation of the Declaration through cooperation and constructive dialogue and engagement with Governments, relevant stakeholders and other interested actors, as set down in resolution A/HRC/RES/7/8, the Special Rapporteur would like to make the most of his role as universal mechanism to build on the momentum generated by the anniversary of the Declaration. In this context, the Special Rapporteur and his team have been launching a series of discussions to share ideas on this anniversary.

Building on these discussions, the Special Rapporteur wishes to launch a series of initiatives and activities led by different actors actively engaged in the promotion of human rights defenders and the recognition of their right to defend rights. In order to ensure ownership by human rights defenders and local communities, it will be critical to engage with the defenders and with grassroots movements at each stage of the anniversary. Human rights defenders and communities will be encouraged to actively participate in this anniversary, organizing events and developing communication tools according to their own local/national contexts.

A list of activities that could be carried out during 2018, as well as the objectives and expected outcomes of the 20th anniversary of the Declaration are described in the concept note.

Contributions and comments to the concept note are welcome and should be directed to: defenders@ohchr.org

The full text of the concept note is available at the link below.

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