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Wednesday, June 12 • 2:15pm - 3:30pm
20 Years Since the Human Rights Defenders Declaration was Adopted at the UN, Over 150 HRDs Got Together in Paris to Celebrate Achievements, Discuss Current Challenges and Devise an Action Plan

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Twenty years since the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, human rights defenders continue to be attacked, discriminated, criminalized, and killed at alarming levels. There is still much to work do to fully realize the commitment made by States to ensure everyone is fully able to defend human rights.

To confront this situation, in October 2018, 150 activists from all corners of the world met in Paris at the Human Rights Defenders World Summit to remind the world of the essential work they do and the need to create a safe and enabling environment for all those who actively defend human rights. At the end of the Summit, all defenders agreed on a landmark Action Plan, which was presented to the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

The Action Plan calls on Governments, corporations, international financial institutions, donors and others to take practical steps to ensure human rights defenders are recognised and protected, including by adopting national governmental action plans and legislation, and protecting defenders as a key priority in foreign policy, particularly women human rights defenders, LGBT+, indigenous rights defenders and other marginalized defenders who face the most risk and exclusion.
As participants to the Paris Summit continue to spread this message around the world, Rightscon is a key opportunity to keep the momentum going. We want the tech community to join us in our fight for human rights and demand that defenders are protected and recognised everywhere without discrimination.

The digital space has been identified by participants in the Paris Summit as another battleground in which human rights are being fought. This space has enabled defenders to reach new audiences and enable communication and advocacy, but it has also presented new means and opportunities for those who attack human rights defenders, with new weapons being used every day from malware and spyware, to the use of social media to manipulate information. The means may be new but the effects on defenders are as old as the world: delegitimization, discrimination, threats, criminalization, physical attacks, and impunity.

A delegation of human rights defenders will present their experience of taking action to defend human rights, the consequences they’ve had to face, the significance of the Summit and what states, businesses, donors and others, must do to ensure their fundamental role is protected and recognised in the digital sphere and beyond, and calling on the Tech community to join them in the struggle for human rights. The panel will welcome contributions and ideas from the floor.

avatar for Lisa Maracani

Lisa Maracani

Research and policy advisor, Human rights defenders, Amnesty International
Human rights defenders are my bag!Have worked also at: Peace Brigades International, Christian Aid, Amnesty Italy.My last project: Targeting Solidarity: Criminalization and harassment of people defending refugee and migrant rights in Northern France, https://www.amnesty.org/en/la... Read More →

avatar for Khalid Ibrahim

Khalid Ibrahim

Executive Director, Gulf Centre for Human Rights
Khalid Ibrahim is the Executive Director of the Gulf Center for human rights in charge of management, programme development, fundraising and training. He is an Iraqi human right defender with decades of experience in the human rights field, including more than ten years in Dublin... Read More →
avatar for Meerim Ilyas

Meerim Ilyas

Deputy Head of Protection, Front Line Defenders
Protection for HRDs, gendered aspects of holistic security, LGBTI, feminist internet, intersectionality

Wednesday June 12, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm BST
Cyrene (Laico)