Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, Protection International and the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) of the University of York hosted an international roundtable in Brussels on 12 and 13 December 2017, entitled “Rethinking the protection of Human Rights Defenders”.
The main objective of this event was to offer a participatory platform to strengthen the human rights movement by supporting critical reflection and creative thinking on ways to improve both the protection of HRDs at risk and, more generally, the upholding of the right to defend human rights.
The roundtable gathered about 80 participants from all continents, amongst whom human rights defenders (HRDs), practitioners, representatives from civil society, academics and policy makers. They reflected collectively on the way security and protection of HRDs are conceptualised and implemented. Based on a participatory, action-oriented and multi-format approach, the event allowed participants to challenge the currently established protection approaches, tools and practices.