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Title of activity

TFG5D: Human Rights Defenders: An Agenda for Collective Action

Registering Organizer

ACFOD, Human Rughts and Development Foundation ( HRDF)

Email Organizer

URL Link of the Registering Co-organizer in this website

Co-organizer and Links

Phone/ WhatsApp Number

+66818662136

Contact Us

Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD)

Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD). Thailand

Forum Asia

Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF). Thailand

Protection International (PI)

RightsNow

Kindly note that the time dedicated to  self organized activities are  18th  third and fourth slot and 19th third and fourth slot.
18th, 19th, 20th first and second slots are focused on opening session and activities developed from the thematic focus groups  - and  20th third and fourth slot to agora of actions and closing moment. Info:
https://www.asiasocialforum.net/3-day-event  or see Menu info/ 3 days event

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Language

We are using Bangkok Time UGT+7 as standard Time 

English

Other language (by interpreter)

URL Link to Activity (online meeting Link)

URL link to access the broadcast of the activity if any

Summary of activity

Objectives:

1. To Provide the common platform for human rights defenders to share information, views and possible effective action in pursuing their role and function in difficult circumstances.

2. To Identify common issues/ action points for collective action

3. To develop the comprehensive strategic plan for the effective promotion and protection of human rights defenders

The workshop will be providing the platform to enable the participants to share their experiences in response to human rights violation through collective wisdom and action

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Description of activity

Background:

In democratization process and the struggle for peace, justice and human rights is the main concern of active citizen for decades. The term Human Rights Defenders was used not so long ago, at least in the last 24 years.

The existence of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 and those relevant International Covenants/ Conventions provide the state legal obligation to uphold their accountability to ensure their role in respect, protect and fulfill human rights. Vienna Declaration and the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 also recognized the role of NGOs/ civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide in paragraph 38 of the Vienna Declaration read:

38. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the important role of non-governmental organizations in the promotion of all human rights and in humanitarian activities at national, regional and international levels. The World Conference on Human Rights appreciates their contribution to increasing public awareness of human rights issues, to the conduct of education, training and research in this field, and to the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for standard-setting lies with States, the conference also appreciates the contribution of non-governmental organizations to this process. In this respect, the World Conference on Human Rights emphasizes the importance of continued dialogue and cooperation between Governments and non-governmental organizations. Non-governmental organizations and their members genuinely involved in the field of human rights should enjoy the rights and freedoms recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the protection of the national law. These rights and freedoms may not be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Non-governmental organizations should be free to carry out their human rights activities, without interference, within the framework of national law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

39. Underlining the importance of objective, responsible and impartial information about human rights and humanitarian issues, the World Conference on Human Rights encourages the increased involvement of the media, for whom freedom and protection should be guaranteed within the framework of national law.

Hence, the UN Human Rights Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (official name: "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 consensus at the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998 (after 14 years of negotiation) also reiterated important task of the groups - many people were being victimized due to their role as human rights defenders at local, national and regional levels.

The UN General Assembly by consensus represents a very strong commitment by States to its implementation. The declaration:

§ Identifies human rights defenders as individuals or groups who act to promote, protect or strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms through peaceful means.

§ Recognizes the key role of human rights defenders in the realization of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and legally binding treaties and in the international human rights system.

§ Represents a paradigm shift: it is addressed not just to States and to human rights defenders, but to everyone. It emphasizes that there is a global human rights movement that involves us all and that we all have a role to fulfil in making human rights a reality for all.

An appointment of the UN Special Representative for the Human Rights Defenders (later on, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders), cannot perform their effective function well due to several factors and limited mandate. 24 years after the adoption of the declaration, many things happened, many human rights defenders were killed, intimidated, arrested, kidnapped, tortured, forced repatriation, under the depressive situation. Many environmental human rights defenders also were threatened by both the states and non-state actors private businesses, transnational corporations, or even arm militia groups when they opposed to the undemocratic rules, brutal acts or mega-projects affected the communities, ecology and their livelihood. While for women human right defenders and other genders their threats are related to their: works and genders such as stigma, stereotype and sexual violence as the perpetrators want to stop their works which are challenge the patriarchal and heteronormativity norms and aspire to transform the society and culture. Sadly, for WHRDs, their perpetrators can be from their own circle, their family.

Sometime ago, there were some mechanism available in response to the violations such as Amnesty International used the Urgent Action; Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) took up Action Alert; Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples (ACPP) took up HOTLINE, for instances. Since the new technology play more important role and speedy connection via internet, many applications have been applied in order to promote and protect human rights defenders who are in difficult situation. Some action campaign had been taken from time to time. Some initiatives had produced the manuals, guidebooks and take up various kind of activities. EU also came out with the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) which was adopted in 2004 outline concrete measures for protecting HRDs at risk, including the provision of emergency aid, and encourage EU diplomats to take a more proactive approach towards HRDs. However, whether these existing tools are efficient and sufficient or not, that can be also discussed and reviewed as well how to improve such tools or explore a more comprehensive system.

Therefore, sharing of information and experiences among the human rights defenders across the region and continent is really important. So that we can develop a better communication and strengthen collaboration and solidarity action to support one another and each other. Of course, the more proactive and effective mechanism is needed to give the good protection on the human rights defenders who are in need.

Objectives:

1. To Provide the common platform for human rights defenders to share information, views and possible effective action in pursuing their role and function in difficult circumstances.

2. To Identify common issues/ action points for collective action

3. To develop the comprehensive strategic plan for the effective promotion and protection of human rights defenders

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