from the International Campaign on Human Rights Defender which will launch in
May of 2017.
Amnesty International’s global campaigns
on Stop Torture and My Body, My Rights ended earlier this year. Their
successors are the I Welcome campaign for refugees which launched in early
October, and the global campaign on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) which will
launch in May 2017.
AI has worked alongside human rights
defenders for decades, both campaigning for their protection and supporting
their human rights claims. AI’s support for these activists has taken many
forms and has included calling for the protection of women’s rights activists,
LGBTI defenders, whistle-blowers, lawyers, journalists, relatives of victims of
human rights violations, indigenous leaders, and those fighting racism or
There will definitely be work on
individuals as part of the campaign. These cases will be selected both because
they are individually important, and also because they illustrate the wider
difficulties that HRDs face. However, AI has not yet decided whether there
should be a country or thematic focus to the campaign overall. Human rights
defenders themselves will play an important part in defining the campaign
strategy over the coming months.
At the time of writing, AI has developed
draft campaign objectives which it is now discussing internally and with
partners, including human rights defenders. The overall object of the campaign
is to ensurethat HRDs are more empowered to act because thousands of people have
been inspired to take action with them, forcing governments to increase
recognition and protection for all who defend human rights.