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The work of women human rights defenders (WHRD) is crucial to building long-term sustainable and stable futures within their countries, but they face a heightened risk of violence on account of being both women and change-makers.

PBI UK’s conference on 24 October 2012 brought together WHRDs from Afghanistan, Colombia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico and Nepal with professionals working in the fields of human rights, government, law and academia, including representatives of the European Union and United Nations.

Its aims were to recognise the work of WHRDs and seek practical ways in which existing mechanisms can be strengthened to support this work – both by empowering WHRDs and by creating avenues to enhance their protection.

The conference was supported by Amnesty International, the Associate Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security, Gender Action on Peace and Security (GAPS), REDRESS and Womankind.

Some video footage is of the conference is now available on Vimeo (further sessions will be uploaded in due course). Audio will also be uploaded here soon – watch this space.

See more photos of this event as well as our reception at the House of Lords on our Facebook page.

During the day a number of attendees used Twitter to comment on the discussion taking place and share speakers’ quotes, enabling others around the world to follow along, share and comment. Read those tweets here.

See also this excellent write up by Jennifer Allsop on the Open Democracy website and this article by speaker Naomi Barasa (Kenya).

Help PBI protect threatened women human rights defenders - donate now!