The work of human rights defenders is essential for promoting human rights and democracy. Yet across the globe, many defenders face serious threats to their life, dignity and liberty.
Current EU law does not explicitly protect human rights defenders. There is no common, consistent EU approach.
FRA’s report on protecting human rights defenders at risk explores the difficulties defenders face.
It suggests what the EU and its Member States can practically do to help:
The European Parliament requested the report. It is based on research and expert interviews.
Quote of FRA director Michael O’Flaherty
"Civil society is essential to respectful societies that uphold human dignity. Yet we see worrying and growing levels of threat, intimidation and harassment. In 2022 alone, over 400 human rights defenders were killed because of their human rights work – and this is just the number of confirmed killings. We must do better to protect those who are fighting for respect of human rights."
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