This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 21 April 2021, 2pm to 3.30pm
  • Location: Online
  • Booking: Booking required

Event details

Over the last 20 years, beginning with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the international human rights system has developed a strong set of standards, norms and recommendations on the recognition and protection of human rights defenders. Yet a significant protection gap remains due to the lack of implementation at the national level. ISHR commissioned a study on the Desirability and Feasibility of a Global Network of ‘Human Rights Defenders Focal Points’, to explore whether and how such a Network could meaningfully contribute to the implementation of the Declaration in diverse national contexts.
Some key elements coming out of the study included that Focal Point delegations should be multi-stakeholder comprising government, national human rights institutions, and civil society representatives; be action- and solutions-oriented; and focus on supporting implementation of the UN Declaration domestically. Priority was placed on establishing well-functioning National Focal Point delegations first, with a Global Network being more robust due to the strength of its parts.
Join us for the launch of the report. We’ll discuss the study’s findings and bring together a range of stakeholders to explore and strategise about practical opportunities to establish National Focal Point delegations with the potential to effectively enhance the protection of human rights defenders.

The event will be in English with simultaneous interpretation in French.
In order to attend the event, please RSVP above. Please note the start time is 9am EST / 2pm BST / 3pm CET.


  • , Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York
  • Hannah Dwyer Smith, Peace Brigades International
  • Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
  • Marthe Coulibaly, Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CIDDH)
  • Vincent Laurent, Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
  • Katharina Rose, Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)

Additional speakers to be confirmed shortly.


  • Tess McEvoy, International Service for Human Rights