NGOs call on the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a robust resolution on human rights defenders

As the UN Human Rights Council opens its 49th session (HRC49), a group of over 30 NGOs, including DefendDefenders, call on states to adopt a robust resolution on human rights defenders (HRDs) operating in conflict and post-conflict situations — the focus of this year’s resolution. 

“It is important for the Council to adopt a resolution that reflects the gravity and the reality of the situation defenders face every day and is tailored to addressing the specific protection needs they face,” the signatories write. 

We ask states to actively support the drafting of a resolution that recognises the essential work of HRDs operating in conflict and post-conflict situations, outlines means to ensure their work is enabled despite the situation of conflict and uncertainty that may prevail, and formulates concrete asks of states, companies and all other actors with the power to protect and promote the right to defend rights.

As international conflict has resumed in Europe with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and as many HRDs around the world are forced to operate in conflict and post-conflict situations, including in the East and Horn of Africa, DefendDefenders highlights the importance of this resolution and urges states to support its development and adoption. 


Read the full letter


Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.