On The Human Rights Frontline
‘I feel really threatened and everything I worked for is at risk. If the UK [prioritises human rights defenders]… they will help us to survive because I’m sure the world needs us to stay here to make change.’ - Women Human Rights Defender, Egypt
Around the world there is an unprecedented surge in attacks against human rights defenders – people who protect and promote human rights.
Amnesty’s new report On the Human Rights Frontline is centred on interviews with 82 human rights defenders in seven countries who are targeted, face arrest and threats because of their important work to make this world a better place for us all.
In total, 94% of activists interviewed - including journalists, lawyers, community activists and people working to promote and protect women’s, LGBTI+, indigenous and environmental rights – said they had experienced threats, harassment, abuse or death threats as a result of their work.
This report highlights and supports their urgent calls for the UK government to do more to support and protect them – and set out how the UK can help those on the frontline protecting human rights.
These recommendations also draw on the expertise of UK and international organisations with decades of experience of working with human rights defenders around the world.
The case for a UK government strategy to support and protect human rights defenders
Amnesty and partnering organisations are collectively urging the UK government to provide greater support and protection for Human Rights Defenders. To achieve this goal, we are calling for the UK Government to prioritise defenders as part of their work and by developing a strategy to support them which is adequately funded, cross-departmental and gender-responsive.
The recommendations to the UK in this report – notably its goals and objectives – is based on interviews Amnesty International arranged with 82 human rights defenders across seven countries - Afghanistan, Colombia, Egypt, Libya, Russia, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.
On the Human Rights Frontline was published with the York Centre for Applied Human Rights, working with Peace Brigades International UK, the Law Society England & Wales, The Fund for Global Human Rights, Gender Action for peace & security (GAPS), Together We Build It, Just Associates (Jass), Civicus, Frontline Defenders, Forum Asia, Kaleidoscope International Trust, and Bond.