Joint statement on the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on
Human Rights Defenders
GENEVA (6 December 2018) – UN human rights experts* urge all States to fully implement the Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders to ensure the freedom of human rights defenders to act without interference, intimidation, abuse, threat,
violence, reprisal or undue restriction.
The experts, calling for a set of minimum international standards to ensure the security and safety of those promoting
and protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, issued a statement
commemorating the 20th anniversary of the declaration on 9 December. In part it reads:
“There can be no realisation of human rights without [human rights defenders] their courageous voices contribute to
peace, security and sustainable development.
Around the world, shrinking civic space has meant that human rights defenders are being increasingly targeted as a
result of their work.We recall the appalling fact that between 2015 and 2017, on average, one person was killed every
day while standing up for human rights.
As we mark the 20th anniversary of this milestone declaration, we celebrate the unwavering efforts and hard-won
achievements of all those who defend human rights particularly of those who have done so, and continue to do so, in the
face of great adversity.”
The full statement is available at: