Risk Analysis and Protection Plan Principles

Redefining the Risk Approach. Designing and implementing a human rights defender-centric approach to protection.

These principles are meant to guide government officials–particularly those tasked with adopting public policy or involved in State protection mechanisms—as well as inform human rights defenders and organisations, providing them with a concrete reference of what they should expect from the State.

The risk approach is a widely-adopted methodology for protecting human rights defenders. After 15 years of its implementation, the human rights community came together to reflect on the immense progress that has been made but also the many challenges and misunderstandings that are preventing this methodology from achieving even greater results. The co-authors of these principles represent human rights organisations, coalitions of defenders, UN agencies, donors, academia, and State protection mechanisms from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. The diversity of our experiences coupled with the solidarity of our cause—to protect and defend the right to defend human rights—is ultimately what produced the resultant statements.

These principles are just the beginning, and over the coming years we will continue to research and develop new initiatives for ensuring the more effective adoption of these statements in practice as well as continually improving upon the statements themselves. We highly encourage the human rights community to interpret these principles as ideal yet extremely achievable goals for any country they may be operating in. Advocating for these principles means advocating for inclusive, reasoned, and rights-based approach to protecting those that put their lives and well-being on the line for a better world for us all.

The Risk Analysis and Protection Plan Principles are currently available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Arabic. If you would like to translate these principles into another language, please let us know so that we can collaborate.

[Protection International]