The risk approach has become an integral tool for addressing the protection of women and men human rights defenders (HRDs) around the world. It is repeatedly used and considered by HRDs, the United Nations General Assembly, UN Special Rapporteurs, the Inter-American Commission and the Inter- American Court of Human Rights, regional human rights organizations, as well as constitutional courts in various countries. It has been included in numerous manuals, applied by public policies for the protection of HRDs in several countries, and is being used by a growing number of practitioners and consultancies. Its adoption has been rapid, partly linked to the fact that the risk approach has been permeating many facets of the society for decades, and partly due to the fact that it offers simple and easily applicable tools for conducting a situated analysis for W/HRDs under threat, offering a pathway towards effective decision-making. However, its simplicity, applicability, and indiscriminate use have also shown shortcomings and limitations that need to be addressed.