EU Delegation to the UN and Mission of Brazil hosted side-event on Women Human Rights Defenders (19/06/2012)

© KUNA / Tamer

The EU Delegation to the UN and the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN organised on 19 June 2012, in the margins of the Human Rights Council, a side-event on Women Human Rights Defenders open to the public. The discussion forum featured Mr. Maina Kiai, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Ms. Naly Pilorge, the Director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, linked by video-message from Cambodia, and Ms. Inmaculada Barcia from the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. The EU Ambassador, Mrs. Mariangela Zappia, and the Ambassador of Brazil, Mrs. Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo, led through the meeting, supported by the NGO Front Line Defenders.

The event looked at the challenges that particularly women face when advocating human rights. It also helped to identify some best practices and solutions to overcome certain key challenges.

The EU Ambassador presented the EU guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and some of the main actions taken by the EU to support the work of the Human Rights Defenders. In a presentation by the Ambassador of Brazil and a video-message of the Brazilian Minister for Human Rights, Brazil presented its National Programme for the protection of Human Rights Defenders. The Special Rapporteur gave very concrete examples of the challenges women Human Rights Defenders face all over the word, women being more restricted in their action by what he called "the social controls in the society". Mrs. Barcia also identified some of the challenges which pose problems, such as the growth of fundamentalism, conflict and globalisation, which all impact more severely on women.

The event was a good prelude to the Annual Day of discussion on women's human rights at the Human Rights Council on 25/26 June.

Speech of the EU Ambassador pdf - 17 KB [17 KB]

Photo gallery of the event

More on the EU policy on Human Rights Defenders