The Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (or “UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders”) of 9 December 1998 is the document of reference for all international and regional mechanisms in terms of promotion and protection of HRDs.
This instrument codifies the international standards regarding the activity of HRDs, recognises their legitimacy, underlines the need of HRDs to be protected and outlines some specific duties and responsibilities of States as duty-bearers regarding the protection of HRDs.
Two years later, the UN Human Rights Commission asked the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative for HRDs with a mandate to monitor and support the implementation of the declaration. In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council decided to directly appoint the mandate-holder on human rights defenders (the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders). Currently, the three-year mandate is held by Ms. Margaret Sekaggya (Uganda).

Factsheet No. 29 – Human Rights Defenders: Protecting the Right to Defend Human Rights was published in 2004 to clarify the definition of “defender” contained in the Declaration and the role played in their protection by the Special Representative, subsequently Special Rapporteur.


Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals

Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

8 March 1999 – UN Resolution adopted by the General Assembly


Human Rights Defenders : Protecting the Right to Defend

April 2004

FactSheet No29


Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders UN Secretary General’s

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/SRHRDefendersIndex.aspx

 


UN Declaration on the Right and Responsability of Individuals

Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

17 november 2009

Resolution_AG_ONU_17_Nov_09_En