Human Rights House Foundation

HRHN20

Conference in Oslo, 2004

Conference "Activists Under Attack: Defending the Right to be a Human Rights Defender" took place in Oslo and focused on how security and working conditions of human rights defenders have worsened in recent years. The conference marked the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights House Network.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi (picture) was among the participants. A statement was presented and adopted, with recommendations to governments on how to support and protect human rights activists.

Deteriorating security and working conditions
The focus of the conference was the deteriorating security and working conditions of human rights defenders. The Human Rights House Network wants to highlight that this tendency can be traced not only in an increase in the number of, for instance, incidents of harassment, threats, torture or unlawful arrests, but also in more subtle ways, such as a step-by-step undermining of funding opportunities, increasingly complex regulations on registration and re-registration or other kinds of suffocating bureaucracy.

Growing tendency
Representatives of governments, grass-root organisations and international experts participated at the conference. The UN Secretary General´s special representative for human rights defenders, has identified a growing universal tendency to clamp down on independent human rights organisations and individual activists alike.

Useful links and documents

  • UN Resolution on Human Rights Defenders  
  • EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders
  • UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders
  • Declaration on the Rights and Responsiblity of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • UN Resolution on Human Rights Defenders (2000-2003) - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders - World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • Front Line - the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  • Compilation of International and Regional Instruments for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders - Human Rights Defenders Office (HRDO)
  • The Neglected Right: Freedom of Association in International Human Rights Law (December 1997) - Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR) 

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