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Document Type: Policy Makers Tools

Collective Protection of Human Rights Defenders | A collective approach to the right to defend human rights

25 February 2019

Collective Protection of Human Rights Defenders | A collective approach to the right to defend human rights aims to contribute to a shift in current prevailing narratives on the collective protection of human rights defenders. In a context where much attention is currently focused on the indispensable work carried out by communities of human rights defenders across the globe, Protection International stresses the long-needed need for the recognition of their collective work. For protection to be effective, sustainable and reach a greater number of human rights defenders, we shift towards a more collective mindset.

The publication identifies a number of problems which stem from the prevailing individualisation of HRDs, highlighting that most protection programmes, both at international and national level, are based on sets of measures intended to provide security to a given individual, but fail to provide structural policy changes that are indispensable for the effective protection of all those defending rights.

The Collective Protection of Human Rights Defenders publication also provides ideas of key measures and actions that should be taken into account when developing collective protection strategies with communities or groups of HRDs.

“We need to rethink and expand current HRDs protection mechanisms so that the protection of HRDs is provided both individually and collectively.”

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