United Nations in Ukraine

Ukraine: Suitcases of human rights defenders

Bringing to life the stories of human rights defenders forced to leave their homes, Human Rights Houses Crimea and Chernihiv will host exhibits and installations focused on the suitcases of displaced defenders.

Crimean Human Rights House

Activities: Installation and exhibition; published testimonies of the Crimean defenders; educational activities

Date: Installation opening on 10 December, and available until 15 December.

Location: “Crimean House”, 9 Suvorova Street, Kyiv.

This installation will be presented in the form of suitcases containing the belongings of human rights defenders who were forced to leave the peninsula following the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation.

It will be interactive. Through a guide, visitors will be able to feel like the owner of the suitcase and discover the personal stories on why a person confronted with human rights violations becomes a human rights defender. The main focus of the exhibition will be on values that guided these “heroes: to decide to change their field of activities

The House will also publish and present a book containing stories and testimonies of the Crimean defenders.

The overall goals are to raise awareness of the rights of defenders and increase understanding of the international standards that protect them, as well as to promote the valuable work that they do and contribute to building a positive narrative on human rights defenders among the public.

Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv

Activities: Installation and exhibition, educational activities

Date: 17 December

Location: Chernihiv

Linked to the exhibition held by Crimean Human Rights House, Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv will hold a mobile exhibition and installation with stories of human rights defenders who found themselves at risk in connection with their activities.

Expanding upon the exhibition of displaced Crimean human rights defenders, Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv will exhibit the suitcases and stories of defenders from other regions, countries, and communities, such as Donbass, Azerbaijan and the Roma community.

Rights of Defenders

“Rights of Defenders” aims to promote understanding of international standards that protect and empower human rights defenders.

As part of the project, Human Rights House Foundation has developed tools and resources for defenders to disseminate standards nationally, engage with authorities and hold them accountable to the commitments they make internationally, and initiate national conversations on the importance of defenders and their work.

Find out more about Rights of Defenders.

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