CSW pays tribute to human rights defenders on International Human Rights Day today, the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the(UDHR). Article 18 of the declaration enshrines a range of universal and interdependent human rights, including the right to freedom of religion of belief (FoRB).
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “As we celebrate 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we note that in countries across the world, human rights continue to be violated and the community of brave individuals who put their lives on the line to defend these rights for their fellow citizens are targeted with harassment and violence. We continue to call for fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, to be upheld and promoted across the world, and for the international community to ensure that the safety of human rights defenders is guaranteed.”
International Human Rights Defenders Day on 9 December saw the 20th anniversary of the, which was designed to protect those who stand up for human rights around the world, enshrining the importance and legitimacy of their work.
To mark Human Rights Day and International Human Rights Defenders Day, CSW has spent the past month interviewing human rights defenders (HRDs) across South Asia for a blog series entitled ‘.’
In the series, HRDs including B in India, have described the challenges they face in their work, including harassment, threats and, who advocates for FoR
In the final post in the series, published today, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders,, writes: “We must celebrate the 20th anniversary of the declaration [on HRDs] by showing appreciation for the HRDs across the world who work at the frontline in the defence of human rights. These brave HRDs, who work tirelessly for the protection of the sanctity of all people’s universally bestowed human rights, work at aid organisations, human rights institutions and elsewhere, or as individuals, in a fight for justice for the persecuted, and to empower the voices of those who are seldom heard.”
Read Michel Forst’s blog.
Read CSW’s 'FoRB on the Frontlines' blog series.