Protect Defenders, of which PI is part, released a Joint Statement calling on the EU and its Members states to better support human rights defenders.
Brussels, November 9th, 2017 – In the past year, the situation of democracy and human rights around the world continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Political and civil space is increasingly shrinking in numerous countries, and economic, social and cultural development often is uneven and does not include vulnerable groups. In a growing number of countries, the pressure on human rights defenders has continuously increased, and the international community has failed to bring stability and peace to regions of conflict, in sharp contrast with the efforts undertaken in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Human rights defenders, including women and LGBTI defenders, are grassroots champions of change, and crucial pivotal actors in the drive to tackle the crises faced by the international community. In order to address the root causes of crises such as the spread of conflict – which result in forced displacement and refugee movements – radicalisation and environmental breakdown, we must provide support to those who are active on the ground fighting for positive change and inclusive development.