Focus: The Observatory on Public Policies for Defenders is an online platform aimed at monitoring, analysing and promoting good practice in policy developments that governments and other state authorities adopt for protecting human rights defenders and their right to defend human rights on a global level. The Observatory on Public Policies for Defenders also aims to keep track in the development of protection standards worldwide and recommendations by regional and international bodies.
Protection International is an international non-profit organisation that advocates for, and contributes to, the free exercise of the right to defend human rights. We promote a comprehensive approach to the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs), focusing on collective and long-term accompaniment with the aim to foster an enabling environment for HRDs to operate safely, thus reducing the need for emergency interventions over time. We have been working since 2004 with local partners in over thirty countries across the globe—from Guatemala to Goma, and from Tanzania to Thailand.
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Although society as a whole plays a role in the construction of an enabling environment for human rights defence, States and their public authorities are those ultimately responsible for their protection and, more broadly, for guaranteeing the exercise of the right to defend human rights. A wide range of standards and recommendations made by international and regional human rights bodies points out at the obligation of States to adopt measures that guarantee that defenders can defend rights without fear from threats and attacks.
Who are human rights defenders? Why do they deserve protection? What is the role of the states in protecting them? In this section we review all key elements that are necessary to better understand what is a public policy for protection of the right to defend human rights, as well as what key elements should it include in order to create enabling environments for the HRDs.