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Over hundred of NGOs call upon governments at UN General Assembly to protect human rights defenders

Date : 2015.12.10

IMADR joined 180 NGOs to urge governments to support the resolution entitled “Rcognizing the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection”  at the plenary of UN General Assembly. The resolution is due to be adopted on 17 December 2015. Read and share the text below or download in English pdficon_small, French pdficon_small and Arabic pdficon_small.

Previous letter for the adoption of the resolution at the Third Committee on Wednesday 25 November 2015 is available here pdficon_small


To: All Member States of the United Nations General Assembly

French and Arabic versions also supplied

9 December 2015




We are a group of human rights defenders and civil society organizations located across the world working at national, regional and international levels. We seek your clear support for the resolution entitled ”Human Rights Defenders in the context of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” adopted by the UN General Assembly Third Committee on 25 November 2015. The resolution is due to be considered by the Plenary of the General Assembly on 17 December 2015.

We urge your government to support the abovementioned resolution when the plenary of the  General Assembly considers the text.

Despite the resolution being put to a vote for the first time in its 16 year history, the adoption of the text by a clear majority of States is a welcome recognition of the need to protect those who face risks and attacks for their work to defend human rights. We congratulate and thank the 117 delegations that voted in favour of the resolution and stood with human rights defenders by resisting attempts to undermine and delegitimise their important work. We urge those delegations to maintain their supportive position during the plenary vote, and thereby demonstrate their continued commitment to protecting human rights defenders and enabling their work. We also call on all delegations who were absent during the Third Committee deliberations to vote in favour of the resolution when it is considered in the General Assembly Plenary.

We are extremely disappointed that 14 States voted against the text that a further 40 States abstained. We see both votes against the resolution and abstentions as a failure to recognize the important role of defenders and the need for their protection. We strongly urge those who abstained or voted against to support the resolution during the Plenary vote.

Human rights defenders make a vital contribution to the promotion and respect for human rights, democratic processes, securing and maintaining peace and security, and advancing development in our countries. However, in doing this work, defenders often face a range of violations and abuses at the hands of State and non-­‐State  actors. States must acknowledge the role of defenders and the specific   risks they face, and commit to ensuring their protection.

Seventeen years ago, all States agreed to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, including State obligations to protect all human rights defenders working on all human rights. This commitment has been reiterated and built upon in subsequent General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions. We are therefore extremely concerned that 14 States voted against the text and that a further 40 States abstained.

We urge all States to live up to their human rights commitments by supporting this resolution during the Plenary vote, and by taking concrete steps to protect human rights defenders.



Accion Solidaria on HIV/Aids

Accountability and justice for victims of the genocide of Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka


Action Trans-­‐Crime Uganda Alkarama  Foundation

All India Network of Individuals and Organizations working with National and State Human Rights Institutions (AINNI)

Alliance for Democracy in Laos

Amnesty International

Anti-­‐discrimination Centre Memorial

Anuak Justice Council, Ethiopia/South Sudan ARC International


Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development

Asian Legal Resource Centre Assistance Mission for Africa

Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)

Association of World Citizens

Austrian Solidarity for Guatemala (Guatemala Solidarität Österreich)


Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Bahrain youth society for human rights Battsengel

Belarus Watch

British Humanist Association Brot fuer die Welt

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre Bytes for All, Pakistan

Cambodian Center for Human Rights CEFoRD-­‐South  Sudan

Center for Civil Liberties

Center for Development of International Law

Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

Center for Inquiry

Center for Reproductive Rights

Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)

Centre for Civil and Political Rights

Centre for Human Rights and Development

Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)

Child Rights Connect (formerly Le Groupe des ONG pour la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant)

Child Rights International Network CRIN Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Church of The Brethren Citizens for Justice and Peace CIVICUS

Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden CIVILIS Human Rights

Coalition for the International Criminal Court COC Netherlands

CODAP -­‐ Youth resource center on human rights

CODEVIDA, Coalition of Organizations for the rights to Health and to Life

Collectif Guatemala Computer Aid International

Comsión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos

Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario MX

Czech Helsinki Committee

Development Alliance Diaspora Action Australia

East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)

Ecology center in western Mongolia E-­‐Education center, Mongolia Egyptian

Initiative for Personal Rights FIDH, within the framework of   the

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) Foundation HELP

Freedom House

Freelance Journalist / Human Rights Defender

Frente de Mujeres Defensoras de la Pachamama -­‐ Ecuador

Front Line Defenders

Geneva for Human Rights

Global Bersih

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Global Forum for Media Development

Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Global Justice Center Global meridian

Government-­‐Citizen Partnership NGO GreenNet

Gulf Center for Human Rights Helsinki

Citizens’ Assembly -­‐Vanadzor Helsinki

Committee  of  Armenia Human Rights

Campaign in China Human Rights

Concern -­‐ Eritrea Human Rights

Defenders’ Alert -­‐  India

Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)

Human Rights Information Center

Human Rights Watch

ILGA -­‐ The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,  Trans  and  Intersex Association


International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

International Catholic Child Bureau

International Center for Justice and Human Rights

International Center for Not-­‐for-­‐Profit Law

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect

International Commission of Jurists

International Commission of Jurists Victoria

International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)

International Dalit Solidarity Network

International Helsinki Association for Human Rights

International Justice Resource Center

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)

International Platform against Impunity

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

International Women’s Health Coalition

International Women’s Rights Action Watch

International Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM)


Iranian Queer Organization, IRQO

Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

JASS (Just Associates) Justice and Peace

Justice Connect

Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law

Kharkiv Regional Foundation “Public Alternative”, Ukraine

Legal Resources Centre

Legal-­‐Informational Centre for NGOs, Slovenia Loretto  Community

MAIN Maloca Internationale

Men’s Association

Mitchell foundation-­‐NGO,Mongolia

MonAme Research Center-­‐NGO, Mongolia

Mongolian  Gender  Equality Center

Mongolian Women’s Employment Supporting Federation

Nazra for Feminist Studies Netherlands Helsinki Committee No Peace Without Justice

One World Platform Foundation

OT Watch

OutRight Action International

Peace Brigades International

Peace Watch Switzerland

People’s Watch, India

Princess center

Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)

Promo LEX Association Moldova

Provea, Venezuelan Education-­‐Action Program  on  Human Rights

Psychological Responsiveness NGO

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Public Union of Democracy and Human Rights Resource Centre

Public Verdict Foundation

Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services Inc.

Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos RIDH

Refugee Council of Australia

RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights

Rivers Without Boundaries

Russian LGBT Network

Schweizer Forum für Menschenrechte und Frieden in Guatemala

Sinergia, Venezuelan Association of Civil Society Organizations

Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)

Sova Center for Information and Analysis

Spanish Society for IHRL

Swiss Helsinki Committee

Swiss Working Group on Colombia

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

The Kosova Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (KRCT)

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund

The Tibet Bureau



Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos -­‐ Guatemala  (UDEFEGUA)

Unión Latinoamericana de Mujeres -­‐ ULAM United Nations Association -­‐  UK


Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights

West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Women’s Refugee Commission

World Federalist Movement -­‐ Institute for Global Policy

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) -­‐ within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

World Uyghur Congress

Yemen Organization for Defending Rights & democratic freedoms

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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