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Politics WORLD

Celebrating human rights defenders around the world

The 2018 World Summit of Human Rights Defenders took place from 29 to 31 October 2018 in Colonel Fabien’s place in the 19th district of Paris, at the headquarters of the PCF. The closing ceremony took place on October 31 at Palais de Chaillot.

This summit celebrates the progress made over the past 20 years and looks to the next 20 years. By 2038, a new generation of HRDs should see this event as the beginning of a paradigm of security and protection. It is therefore intended to:

pay tribute to those who are targeted by the specific threats, violence and obstacles they face while advancing human rights, sustainable development, democracy and the rule of law.
reiterate the call for states launched by the 1998 Summit to fulfill their obligations under international human rights law, respect and uphold the right to freedom of action of human rights defenders (see the Declaration of Paris, 1998) to ensure a safe environment for HRDs to carry out their work.
Provide a platform to find solutions to the current situation, propose and affirm strategies to develop the engagement of various actors on the recognition and the real protection of HRDs, including a particular commitment of the donor community on a distribution of more effective and more capable of having impact.
Identify and promote campaign and advocacy strategies that are not aimed at institutional response, but seek to gain the support of broader audiences in communities where HRDs work
During these 3 days, plenary sessions, debates, round tables and workshops followed one another with the intervention of Human Rights Defenders, including Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union’s special representative for human rights; Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International; Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. The summit was accompanied by events and exhibitions in the capital.

The first World Summit of HRDs was held in 1998, bringing together HRDs from around the world in Paris, outlining the conditions for the implementation of the Declaration and strengthening the work of human rights defenders. solidarity. The purpose of the summit was to show governments, international NGOs, donor agencies and regional mechanisms the security and protection issues faced by HRDs. As a result, support has been put in place at international, national and regional levels; an institutional space was opened to address their specific problems, including the creation of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. It is from this summit that institutions, foundations and organizations have supported the work of defenders

Twenty years later, the 2018 World Summit of HRDs was organized by eight international human rights organizations, and more than 30 organizations from around the world worked to make the Summit fully participatory, inclusive and global. It brought together 150 HRDs from all over the world, from all ages and backgrounds. Even today, human rights are still violated in countries where violence and division generate conflicts and not respect for civil society. The presence of HRDs around the world, including the most closed regions, has brought things and attitudes forward. Unfortunately, these representatives must fight for standing up for justice against attacks, intimidation and harassment of the ruling forces in those countries. They are considered criminals, terrorists or enemies of development.

This edition was also open to people at risk and at risk, whether marginalized, belonging to ethnic minorities such as natives or nuns, prey to their gender identity. Discussions focused on social, political and environmental issues; they went to meet international human rights organizations and representatives of national governments, the United Nations and the private sector to discuss fundamental issues.

At the end of this meeting, it was decided to draw up a “historic plan of action” for the protection and promotion of the work of activists fighting for rights and to present it to the In December. This decision is a response to the growing number of murders perpetrated almost always with impunity against HRDs (no less than 312 in 2017, twice more than in 2015). This plan must provide a response to these injustices and support “the defenders, while allowing them to continue their work safely.” For Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnisty International, “The level of danger faced by activists by the The world has reached a critical point …. Every day, ordinary citizens are threatened, tortured, imprisoned and killed because of their struggles, their beliefs or simply their identity. It is time to act and stand up against (this) hardening of repression. ”

A gala at Palais de Chaillot Palace closed the Summit.