This 2014 Focus Report is intended to provide detailed monitoring of developments in the field of national public policy associated with the protection of human rights defenders around the world. The publication is available in English.
Since 2008, under its FOCUS Global Observatory, Protection International (PI) has specialised in researching, systematising and disseminating good practice and lessons learned in the field of public policy and legal instruments for the protection of HRDs. This work has developed alongside the permanent monitoring of several countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The fruit of this work is PI’s Focus Report: in its second year running, this publication is intended to provide detailed monitoring of developments in the field of national public policy associated with the protection of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) around the world. This year’s 2014 edition of Focus highlights the renewed interest in adopting legal instruments for the protection of HRDs in Latin America (in Honduras and Guatemala) and in Sub-Saharan Africa (in Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi and Mali).
PI hopes to draw attention to the recent publication of guidelines on the protection of HRDs by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Finally, we are pleased to have been able to include in this edition contributions by external collaborators whose association with the subject and authority in the field is widely recognised. This is the case of the Focus report preface, prepared by Michel Forst, the recently appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders; an analysis of advances in the field of protection in the Americas, by Jesús Orozco H., President of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) and Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders; an overview of the topic in Africa by Reine Alapini Gansou, the Commissioner and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR); and contributions by representatives of local CSOs in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, countries that have pioneered the effective implementation of public policies for the protection of HRDs.
We trust that this report will be of interest to HRDs, CSOs and governments involved in the protection of HRDs. Similarly, we hope to contribute to, and enrich, the discussions on the adoption of appropriate policies in countries where they do not exist and to help authorities and civil society organisations implement them where they do.