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: 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.