How Protection for Human Rights Defenders Is Implemented
Posted On 10th June 2018
The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was created in 1998 and follow-ups to it have been made ever since it was adopted—both at the international and regional scopes. A number of initiatives were established in order that the protection of defenders can be increased and the Declaration can be further implemented. Protection instruments related to the Declaration include:
1. The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders was created in 2000.
2. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on human rights defenders was created in 2004.
3. The Human Rights Defenders Unit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was established in 2001.
4. The European Union Guidelines on human rights defenders were formed in 2004.
5. The Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe was established in 2008 to improve and promote the activities of the human rights defenders.
6. The European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism was implemented in the form of ProtectDefenders.eu in 2015.
To better acknowledge human rights defenders and their work, there have been:
1. The UN Prize in the field of Human Rights established in 1998,
2. The Martin Ennals Award, which is a work of some NGOs on human rights,
3. The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award established in 1984,
4. The Sakharove Prize established by the European Parliament in 1998,
5. The Human Rights Defenders Tulip established by the Netherlands in 2008,
6. The Nobel Peace Prize,
7. The Frontline Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk established in 2005, and
8. The Ginetta Sagan award for Women Human Rights Defenders.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is a program created by the World Organization against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights. In 2008, the program accommodated the gathering of all the holders of institutional mandate on human rights defenders. The event was meant to encourage the holders to work something up so they can all work in a better form of coordination. A website with single inter-mechanisms was created in 2010, where information about the activities of the mandate-holders can be observed publicly. The International Service for Human Rights published a document in 2016 entitled ‘Model National Law on the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders’. The document provides guidelines for governments to implement the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.