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Critical Perspectives on the Security and Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Wednesday 2 December 2015, 6.30PM to 20.00 pm

Speaker(s): Mr. Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, and others

Since the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, there has been considerable effort to recognise and protect the rights of people to defend their own and others' human rights. Over time an international protection regime for human rights defenders has emerged, aimed at protecting and supporting defenders in the face of threats and risks. Based upon the international human rights framework, this protection regime focuses on human security, and consists of a variety of actors and mechanisms operating at national, regional, and international levels.

In a Special Issue in the International Journal of Human Rights on 'Critical Perspectives on the Security and Protection of Human Rights Defenders' (launched in October 2015), scholars and practitioners critically appraise the construction and functioning of this protection regime, examining: (i) the definition and use of the term 'human rights defender'; (ii) the effectiveness of protection mechanisms; and, (iii) the complex relationship between repression, activism and risk.

At this Launch Event, CAHR, Amnesty International and the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute (London Metropolitan University) in collaboration with the Human Rights Researcher's Network invite scholars, practitioners, and human rights defenders to discuss how the international protection regime for human rights defenders has evolved over time in response to the challenges faced by human rights defenders. We identify current trends and issues in the protection of human rights defenders, and explore the implications of these for future research and practice.

Free copies of these papers are available here until 31 December 2015. 

Tickets are limited and available via Eventbrite.

Location: Senate House, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU

Admission: Free tickets available at