Input requested on the implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders


The implementation of human rights commitments remains the big challenge. The adoption of a consensus resolution on the implementation of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders by the UN General Assembly last year was, therefore, significant. In line with the resolution, OHCHR is now requesting input from civil society on maximizing implementation.  Deadline for input  -  15th April 

The 20th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders sets the scene for an assessment of its implementation: where challenges lie, as well as good practices.  The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has put out a call for analyses and recommendations in regard to measures taken by States, the value of technical support to States, and an audit of the UN’s own work on defenders. 

‘This is an opportunity for civil society analyses and recommendations from across the globe to contribute to increasing pressure on States to fulfil their obligations to human rights defenders,’ said ISHR’s Tess McEvoy.

OHCHR’s call for input: 

OHCHR is requesting input on three main areas:   

  • An evaluation of the UN’s work on human rights defenders, including in providing advice to States

  • An assessment of the impact of technical assistance and capacity building provided to States in regard to fulfilling their obligations to HRDs.

  • Recommendations (to any relevant stakeholder) on how best to promote the Declaration and ensure its implementation 

The full calls for input by OHCHR are here:  




OHCHR have indicated that they will receive input in English and French.  The deadline for input is: 15 April 

‘The audit of the UN’s work on protection of human rights defenders is unique', noted McEvoy. 'We hope that this process of reviewing the UN’s work and – more generally – driving forward implementation of the Declaration will get active support from the highest levels in the UN.’ 

What happens after the OHCHR reports are written?

A high-level event will be held in New York at the end of the year, during the 73rd session of the General Assembly, where good practice, challenges and recommendations related to implementation will be shared. Civil society participation in that event has yet to defined.

‘Meaningful participation by human rights defenders in an UN event on human rights defenders is a no brainer,’ said ISHR’s Eleanor Openshaw. ‘We urge the current President of the General Assembly to work with the upcoming President to ensure such participation is enabled.’


Tess McEvoy:

Eleanor Openshaw:

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