In the 2nd year, PI and partners could already prove the effectiveness of the new approach of protection of human rights defenders (HRD) on the ground.
Indeed, in 2010, 7 Protection Desks (PDs) had been established in Guatemala (covering Central America), Colombia, Mexico, Uganda and Kenya (covering 10 countries in East and Horn of Africa), DR Congo, and in Asia (based in Thailand, working also on Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan). 5 PDs are in-house teams hosted by local partners UDEFEGUA, EHAHRDP, ACUDDEH and PAS. PI runs 2 PDs alone (Bukavu/DRC and Bangkok/Asia). 2 new Protection Desks have been opened in Kenya and Mexico City.
The same year, the 7 Protection Desks and PI Research and Training Unit delivered 123 security and protection trainings for 2398 HRD in 19 countries (special attention was given to defenders most at risk: LGBTI defenders, women and young defenders, indigenous peasant community leaders working in remote areas, victims and witnesses).
The project continued to investigate and provide new tools for all stakeholders interested in HRD protection. We published the volume II of the Study “Protection of human rights defenders: Best practices and lessons learnt, “Operational aspects of defender’s protection”.
The 7 Protection Desks provided in the 20-priority countries advice to 600 HRD and their organisations on a daily basis on both, immediate emergency support when HRD were being under attack, and through midterm capacity building. The second is of importance to reverse the existing trend of mere emergency response and to come forward with a more structured preventive approach of security management and protection. Protection action by PDs included:
On an international level, PI and local partners promoted new instances and mechanisms for protection and liaised for this purpose closely with local HRD networks, governments, EU-& UN-Missions, regional HR instances and UN Special Rapporteurs. With regard to EU Guidelines, PI and local partners provided technical advice to EU Delegations on Local implementation strategies.
The one-stop website www.protectionline.org continued to provide valuable information, reports and news on defenders. A new PI website, “Focus”, has been launched as a global observatory on national policies on defenders’ protection (focus.protectionline. org), filling in the existing gap on information on national instances, legislations and mechanisms for protection.
Seminars, targeted advocacy, press releases & special announcements have been made both on emblematic HRD cases and on HRDs under risk.
A total of 15 new video clips were produced, covering diverse aspects such as HRD and new media. All videos have been used by our Video Advocacy unit to raise public awareness on HRD situations. Videos are accessible in particular on protectionline. org, Vimeo and YouTube.
The team of Protection International