HRDs being interviewed by journalists


Upcoming event: The time is NOW – PI, CEJIL and ISHR | 20 June | Geneva

15 June 2018

Brussels, 15 June 2018

The time is NOW – Effective public policies to protect the right to defend human rights

Protection International, the Centre of Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the International Service of Human Rights (ISHR) are hosting the presentation of the publication “The time is now, for effective public policies to protect the right to defend human rights”, on the occasion of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 38th session, that will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 20 June. 

The event aims to: 

  • Present the publication “The time is now, for effective public policies to protect the right to defend human rights”, as the first in-depth comparative study of protection mechanisms in the Americas;
  • Identify progress, setbacks, and challenges in the creation of public policies for the protection of human rights.


  • Joel Hernández, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights     @JoelHernandezG 
  • Mauricio Ángel Morales, Protection International                           @MauriciAngel
  • Alejandra Vicente, Centre for Justice and International Law             
  • Tess McEvoy, International Service for Human Rights                    @Tess_L_McEvoy
  • Triffi Bassam, Tunisian League of Human Rights                           @ltdh_tunisie
  • Luisa Ríos, Peruvian Society for Environmental Law                      @actualidadspda 


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Watch the presentation of THE TIME IS NOW by its authors!

(with English subtitles)

THE TIME IS NOW is available in Spanish and English. Access the summary of the publication in English and Spanish.

About “The Time is NOW”

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The Americas have pioneered the incorporation of this Declaration, both at the regional and national levels, with the creation of mechanisms and programmes for the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs).

These mechanisms which are positive in themselves, cannot hide the fact that particularly in Latin America it is precisely the high numbers of murdered HRDs that require an urgent and decisive response from State authorities. Moreover, such mechanisms and laws are toothless when it comes to tackling the worrying numbers of HRDs attacked, criminalised, stigmatised, or in exile due to their work.

Protection International and CEJIL have taken on the task of analysing and trying to understand the lack of effectiveness of programmes and mechanisms. The outcome of this joint work has resulted in the publication of the report “The time has come” for effective public policies to protect the right to defend human rights in January 2018.

We believe that it is now high time to reflect on the achievements and shortcomings of the current mechanisms, and we propose to address them from the point of view of public policies, which offers a broader perspective and numerous tools for their analysis and assessment.

The conception of these public policies requires a critical analysis of the socio-political and legal processes through which they are constructed, to explain the shape that policies take, their instruments and their results. On the other hand, it is not only necessary to analyse what a public authority decides to do, but also what it decides not to do, since in public policies, inaction can be considered as an action.

This critical analysis of policies involves debate and consultation on concepts, meanings, definitions of the problems to be addressed, research to be carried out, and desirable agreements on the solutions to them and the best way to implement them.