How do we facilitate the development of effective protection policies? What tools are available to support this process? In this section, we provide publications, guidelines and tools that are available for the design, analysis and evaluation of protection policies.

Protection International aims for the empowerment of human rights defenders to promote their own protection. The presence of public policies for their protection is a fundamental precondition for their capacity to do so. However, not all policies that are developed are effective, inclusive or accessible to those who need it. This section therefore provides tools and guidelines that may serve to improve the development of protection policies, or to pinpoint key elements that should be added to existing ones. We have chosen to bring forward the following elements in this section:

This section will include hand-picked and self-produced tools that can be used to assess, design or evaluate protection policies or particular protection aspects of a policy, such as guidelines or key recommendations. They can be used by policy makers or by human rights defenders to provide input to draft law processes, in order to develop comprehensive and effective protection policies for human rights defenders.

The Risk Analysis and Protection Plan Principles were developed by Protection International and are meant to set minimum standards for how a risk analysis should be conceptualized, how it should be approached, and how it can be translated into a suitable protection plan. These principles may also be applied as a basis for any protection policy that effectively includes and protects human rights defenders.

Over the past years, many western countries have developed policy guidelines for the protection of human rights defenders in their foreign diplomatic missions. We do not consider them to be national public policies because they do not protect human rights defenders in the country that develops the policies. Nevertheless, they are examples of practices concerning human rights defenders by western countries and therefore deserve attention on this platform.

There are many resourceful initiatives available to keep track of different aspects surrounding protection policies for human rights defenders. Browse these platforms to gather information on protection policies from diversified sources.

The FOCUS Observatory is aimed to be a collaborative platform, open to external contributions. If you have any information, publications or documents to share, or if you simply want to exchange ideas, please do not hesitate to contact us.