CAHR researchers and students take lead on landmark UN report

Posted on 17 August 2018

IN OCTOBER the UN General Assembly will consider a landmark Global Survey describing the situation of human rights defenders in more than 140 states.

Michel Forst

The survey will be presented by Michel Forst - the UN Special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and is the product of a global team of more than 40 researchers, CAHR staff and current and former CAHR students, along with over 200 civil society organisations, all co-ordinated and led by CAHR Senior Lecturer Martin Jones. The team was brought together to produce the survey at the request of Michel Forst, and is recognition of CAHR's world leading expertise in the emerging protection regime for human rights defenders at risk and a continuation of the close relationship between CAHR and the UN Special Rapporteur.

 The research team has collated and analysed thousands of documents and survey responses to be able to present the situation of human rights defenders around the world.  The Global Survey identifies a number of troubling trends concerning the use of legal and administrative methods to persecute human rights defenders; but also identifies positive developments, such as new initiatives to offer protection and challenge negative portrayals of human rights defenders, and highlights the recognition by local and international organisations of the need to need to commit to the protection of human rights defenders; a commitment a growing number are making. 

The Global Survey is accompanied by a CAHR produced discussion document articulating a "vision for the future", which will be the centre of upcoming deliberations at a global summit in Paris this October, and a high-level dialogue by states and civil society at the UN in New York in December.  The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders marks its 20th anniversary on 9th December this year, and this Global Survey is one of many research and policy initiatives by CAHR's world leading Human Rights Defender Hub to promote the protection of human rights defenders around the world.