Tag Archives: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Moldova: UN expert urges Moldova to end its “punitive attitude” to human rights defenders

June 29, 2018

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The Government of Moldova must adopt a more positive approach to human rights defenders and publicly recognize the crucial role played by civil society, says a UN human rights expert.

“Despite a globally satisfactory legislative framework, the situation of human rights defenders requires improvement in the Republic of Moldova,” says UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst in a statement ending his first official visit to the country.

“Human rights defenders and journalists are victims of stigmatization campaigns, lawyers face politically motivated criminal charges or are threatened whenever they defend people with dissenting voices, and journalists’ access to information is restricted,” he added.

“Moreover, officials from Moldova’s National Human Rights Institutions feel disregarded in practice,” said Mr. Forst, the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights defenders.

“The Government must end its punitive attitude towards human rights defenders, and embrace a more supportive approach to civil society in spite of possible disagreements and criticism” said Mr. Forst.

“While civil society organizations and human rights defenders have the right to freely conduct their human rights work and the Government has publicly declared its openness to engage with them, in practice human rights defenders face several challenges,” Mr. Forst emphasized.

“I have received allegations of intimidation and threats towards human rights defenders by public authorities, particularly after having expressed criticism of decisions taken by the Government,” he said.

https://www.ohchr.org/CH/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23295&LangID=E

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UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders: #HRC34 | Global NGO coalition calls for renewal of mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders

March 7, 2017

In a letter to member States of the Human Rights Council, a global coalition of leading civil society organisations has called for the consensus renewal of the mandate of the UN expert on human rights defenders.

Read more about the renewal in ISHR’s Human Rights Council Alert.

The undersigned civil society organisations, coming from all regions, urge your delegation to support the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

The work of human rights defenders is vital to promoting human rights, upholding the rule of law, and achieving sustainable and inclusive development. Despite this critical role, the Special Rapporteur notes that defenders are under ‘unprecedented attack’ with ‘the number killed around the world continuously rising’.

In turn, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is key to provide visibility of the situation of defenders and highlight the need for their protection. Since the creation of the mandate in 2000, successive mandate holders have made concrete contributions to the protection of those defending human rights and the dissemination and implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The mandate has also made significant contributions to acknowledging gender specific attacks targeting women human rights defenders and the need to develop intersectional responses.

During the Human Rights Council’s 34th session, States are considering a resolution extending the mandate for a further three years. The proposed renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate provides a key opportunity for the HRC to strengthen the recognition of the crucial role defenders play in our societies, and towards the creation of a fair, just and equal world.

We call upon all States to show their commitment to human rights, peace and sustainable development through strong and unconditional support for the renewal of the mandate.

https://www.ishr.ch/news/hrc34-global-ngo-coalition-calls-renewal-mandate-un-special-rapporteur-human-rights-defenders

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (A/HRC/34/52)

January 23, 2017

Note by the Secretariat

In his report, prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 66/164 and 68/181 and Human Rights Council resolutions 16/5 and 25/18, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, provides a detailed summary of the activities he carried out during his first mandate, including statistics and trends based on the communications that he sent to States, his visits to a number of countries, the dialogues established with the authorities of various States, and the close cooperation developed with key stakeholders in the protection of human rights worldwide. The Special Rapporteur also presents the work in progress and the challenges and issues on which he plans to focus during his next mandate. The report includes suggestions for diversifying working methods, broadening the scope of cooperation with other key actors, and enhancing the visibility and accessibility of his mandate. Human rights defenders and the promotion of their work and their protection will remain at the core of the Special Rapporteur’s work.

I. Introduction

  1. After spending the past three years travelling around the world and documenting the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur is more appalled than ever to see attacks against them multiplying everywhere, assailing bloggers, indigenous peoples, journalists, community leaders, whistle-blowers and community volunteers. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur has become convinced that the incidents in question are not isolated acts but concerted attacks against those who try to embody the ideal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a world free from fear and want.

http://reliefweb.int/report/world/report-special-rapporteur-situation-human-rights-defenders-ahrc3452