The project, entitled “I Defend Rights: Shifting the Narrative about Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society Globally,” is part of celebrations in 2018 around the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. It aims to use a vast number of defenders’ testimonies to reach broader audiences and foster an understanding of human rights defenders as “agents of positive change.”
It is a project of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria.org, in collaboration with numerous partners around the world.
Human rights defenders can record their experiences at idefendrights.org, anonymously if they desire. The exercise requires participants to answer a few simple questions and can be completed in a few minutes.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, has said: “The “I Defend Rights” project will make audible the voices of hundreds of Human Rights Defenders from every part of the world… This project will contribute to our shared goal of shifting the global narrative about the thousands of ordinary women and men who promote human rights.”
Florian Irminger, Head of Advocacy at Human Rights House Foundation, said: “We are happy to partner with Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria.org on this exciting initiative. Human rights defenders play a valuable role in our societies, defending the rights of all people. For some of us, this can come at great personal cost, including to our families and loved ones. It is very important we hear all human rights defenders’ stories, and that these accounts become part of our global celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 2018.”
The Norwegian Human Rights Fund
The Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) works to protect and promote human rights internationally through direct support to local organisations.
Memria provides software and services to make it easy for organisations and businesses to collect, curate, analyse, and share personal, autobiographical narrative accounts of people in their own voice.