|Who are the Human Rights Defenders?|
|Friday, 06 November 2009 12:12|
Human rights defenders address any human rights concerns, which can be as varied as, for example, summary executions, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, female genital mutilation, discrimination, employment issues, forced evictions, access to health care, and toxic waste and its impact on the environment. Defenders are active in support of human rights as diverse as the rights to life, to food and water, to the highest attainable standard of health, to adequate housing, to a name and a nationality, to education, to freedom of movement and to non-discrimination. They sometimes address the rights of categories of persons, for example women’s rights, children’s rights, the rights of indigenous persons, the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, and the rights of national, linguistic or sexual minorities.
What do the Human Rights Defenders do?
Human rights defenders gather and disseminate information, advocacy and the mobilization of public opinion are often the most common tools used by human rights defenders in their work. They also provide information to empower or train others. They participate actively in the provision of the material means necessary to make human rights a reality—building shelter, providing food, strengthening development, etc. They work at democratic transformation in order to increase the participation of people in the decision-making that shapes their lives and to strengthen good governance. They also contribute to the improvement of social, political and economic conditions, the reduction of social and political tensions, the building of peace, domestically and internationally, and the nurturing of national and international awareness of human rights.