DefendDefenders joins call to renew the mandate of the top UN expert on human rights defenders

At the 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC43, 24 February-20 March 2020), states will consider a resolution extending the mandate of the top UN expert on human rights defenders (HRDs), the Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs.

In a letter published today, DefendDefenders joins dozens of civil society organisations in calling on all states to support the adoption of this resolution by consensus, that is, without any opposition. Signatories call on states to resist any attempt to undermine the mandate of the Special Rapporteur or dilute state obligations.

We call on member and observer states of the Council to:

  • Participate positively in the negotiations on the resolution;
  • Present early co-sponsorship of the text (i.e., signal their intention, at an early stage, to endorse the resolution);
  • Resist any attempts to dilute the mandate or state obligations; and
  • Support consensus renewal of the mandate.

The list of signatories continues to grow and is updated on a rolling basis (see ISHR‘s website).

Read the full letter in English or in French



Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.