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: Veronica Almedom

Veronica Almedom is a poster child of successful immigration. A duo Eritrean and Swiss citizen, she was born in Italy, and grew up in Switzerland where she permanently resides. Her parents are some of the earliest victims of Eritrea’s cycles of violence. When Eritrea’s war of independence peaked in the early 1980s, they escaped the country as unaccompanied minors, wandering through Sudan, Saudi Arabia, before making the hazard journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. There, they crossed first to Italy, and finally, to Switzerland, where they settled first as refugees, and later, as permanent residents.