UK Calls for Protecting Human Rights Defenders at UN HRC52

Thank you, Madam Vice President,

The 25th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders offers an important moment to highlight the successes of human rights defenders in the face of increasing threats.

The UK welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s report and agrees that human rights defenders make a crucial contribution to peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law. We pay tribute to those defenders who have worked tirelessly to provide access to healthcare, prevent corruption, advance women’s rights, promote accountability, and protect the environment, as set out in your report.

We are concerned by the increasing attacks against Human Rights Defenders who have been at the sharp end of shrinking civic space, including women and LGBT defenders.

The UK continues to support human rights defenders and their important work through our diplomatic network who monitor cases, observe trials and raise issues with governments, as well as through multilateral organisations.

Special Rapporteur,

How can we safely improve monitoring mechanisms for violations against human rights defenders, and strengthen support to defenders who risk facing reprisals for reporting issues to the UN?

Thank you.

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