Newsletter of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
Newsletter #1
December 2015


Dear friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to present this first newsletter that will give you the opportunity to follow my activities as well as the latest news on the situation of human rights defenders around the world. I like to think it will be a new bridge between my action, human rights defenders and all those who have a genuine interest in the defence and promotion of human rights.

For this first newsletter, I would like to share with you three messages.The first one is an alarm call as I feel extremely worried about the situation of those who seek to promote and defend our fundamental rights. While I am writing these words, numerous defenders are in danger in Burundi, Bahrain and in many other countries across the globe. In front of States that despise their own international commitments and firms that seem to have profits as a unique goal, the courageous people who take a stand to defend our rights and freedoms need more than ever our protection and recognition.

Secondly, I would like to share a message of hope. It is true that civil society has never seemed so visible and determined. In every meeting I held this year, I could see courageous women and men speaking up and dedicating their lives to fight against injustice and barbarism. Throughout the year, we have witnessed an unprecedented number of attacks and threats and I would like to celebrate once more the action of these countless ordinary people who defend human rights, sometimes at the expenses of their own lives.

To conclude, I would like to end this letter with a call to action. It is in our hands to make human rights defenders' work more visible to the rest of the society. It is in our hands to prove that promoting and defending rights are essential to democracy and the rule of law. We all have a role to play in protecting rights defenders whether promoting their struggles or giving them our unconditional support.

I wish you a happy festive season,

                                                                                          Michel Forst                       

The latest activites of the Special Rapporteur
2-3 December 2015
Participation at the EU-NGO forum on human rights
2 December 2015
Interview with Peace Brigades International (PBI)

The situation of human rights defenders
17 December 2015
New resolution on the protection of human rights defenders
9 December 2015
Anniversary of the international Declaration on human rights defenders
See more news
Report to the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations Special Rapporteur Michel Forst presented his last report to the United Nations General Assembly in October 2015. A separate version designed for the general public is already available in French and will soon be available in Spanish and in English.
More documents and reports
This month, read the story of Sombath Somphone

This human rights defender from Laos disappeared three years ago. His relatives are still looking for him.

8 February 2016
Official visit to Hungary from 8 to 16 February 2016
3 March 2016
Interactive dialogue with the United Nations Human rights Council

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