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Priorities of the current Rapporteur | Protecting Defenders
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Priorities of the current Rapporteur

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Priorities of the current Rapporteur

In the report presented to the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014, the Special Rapporteur exposes his priorities and his strategic plan from 2015 to 2017, which correspond to the duration of his mandate.

Detailed analysis of trends and problems

The special Rapporteur will be able to carry out his basis task of protecting human rights defenders more effectively if he keeps up to date on trends in this field.

To do so, he will organise consultations or meetings with human rights defenders or deepen his contact with State representatives. Through those different meetings, he will be able to collect accurate information on each issue related to the situation of human rights defenders.


Identification of the threats 

On each occasion, the special Rapporteur will draw attention to current and new forms of reprisals and threats suffered by human rights defenders and their relatives.

In order to outline these facts, a section of each report will be dedicated to the analysis of all the forms of reprisals committed against human rights defenders.

With this work, the special Rapporteur intends to extend the protection mandate entrusted to him as widely as possible to meet all the needs of human rights defenders.


Closer cooperation with other mandate holders

A number of cases are related not only to the mandate on the situation of human rights defenders but also to other mandates. For example, some situations are related to his own mandate as well as to the mandate on the freedom of association and on freedom of expression.

Therefore, and while preserving the independence of his mandate, the special Rapporteur intends to develop a series of joint actions (press releases, public declarations, country visits, etc.) with other mandate holders concerned by cases about the violations of human rights defenders’ rights.


Improved follow-up

Regarding the communications received, the special Rapporteur intends to thoroughly analyse the ways the system can be improved so as to make it more relevant and enable a faster and more appropriate response from States.

He will also regularly remind the States of unanswered letters and he will include in its reports the good practices of States that have reacted after a communication letter.


Closer cooperation 

The special Rapporteur will meet with all the relevant stakeholders (States, the United Nations, regional protection mechanisms, NGOs, regional courts, experts, media, etc.) in order to present his mandate, offer his technical assistance and establish a dialogue and cooperation aimed to develop effective respect of the rights of defenders.


Wider dissemination of good practices

The Special Rapporteur aims to make sure that wider audiences are informed of the good practices developed in the human rights defenders field.

For example, NGOs have been developing and improving mechanisms of protection (legal aid, psychological and medical support, etc.), international solidarity and rapid response to threats and attacks. Likewise, States have established guidelines or national legislations to more effectively prevent violations of the rights of human rights defenders.


Wider dissemination of the Declaration on human rights defenders

Among the activities that he will pursue, the special Rapporteur will pay special attention to the promotional aspects of the Declaration on human rights defenders.

He will also conduct advocacy work to make sure that the Declaration is translated into more national and local languages in order to make it accessible to everyone.


Greater visibility for the issue of human rights defenders

With the means at his disposal, the Special Rapporteur will act to give greater prominence to: positives stories about the work of human rights defenders and their successes; the problems they face; the means of protection; national good practices; the effectiveness of the protection mechanisms; etc.


Action against reprisals

Over the years, the Special Rapporteurs have repeatedly observed reprisals against those who have collaborated with the United Nations or international and regional organizations related to human rights.

With other mandate holders, the Special Rapporteur has been calling for a firm response to such reprisals and he strongly supports the designation of a United Nations focal point on the issue in order to ensure a better protection for human rights defenders.


The Special Rapporteur intends to consider extending the protection mandate entrusted to him as widely as possible and to go to great lengths in exercising his mandate, where necessary [...] to help protect the rights of human rights defenders.

Report to the Human rights Council-2014