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: 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.