20 years ago, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was a milestone in human rights history. It recognised that human rights are not only granted by law, but upheld by those who struggle for their protection. The responsibility to protect human rights lies with all of us; every person can and should be a Human Rights Defender.

Now more than ever, as human rights are under threat across the world, is the time for this global community of Human Rights Defenders to stand together.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, PBI is championing the nomination of the global community of Human Rights Defenders for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

PBI has been standing alongside at-risk Human Rights Defenders for over 35 years, in countries where this vital work may cost them their lives. We believe the anniversary of the 1998 UN Declaration is a landmark in our journey towards a better world. It should be a time to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to the defence of human rights. To reflect and to learn from our victories and failures. And to demonstrate international commitment to protecting the civil society processes that are key to peaceful change.

Throughout the coming months, we will be posting here our activities around the 20th anniversary, with information about how you can support.

Parliamentary Event, “Celebrating the Contribution of Human Rights Defenders to the Rule of Law”

PBI UK, together with the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rule of Law, will be hosting an interactive panel discussion at the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House on Tuesday 9th October 2018: from 18:30 to 20:30. Please register here.

The event will celebrate the essential contribution human rights defenders make to upholding the rule of law, and discuss how the UK government can step up their work protecting defenders and creating enabling environments in light of the 20th anniversary of the UN human rights defenders declaration. Speakers will include Dominic Grieve MP, Anders Kompass; Senior Swedish diplomat, human rights defenders from Guatemala and Nepal, PBI UK Director Susi Bascon as well as government officials.

On the 9th December 1998 the UN adopted the Declaration on Human rights Defenders. Twenty years on, PBI UK is using this anniversary year to celebrate and reflect on the significance of the Declaration, the crucial role Human Rights Defenders play in democratic society, and the challenges ahead to ensure that Defenders are able to live and work free from fear.

We hope you will join us, shoulder to shoulder with Human Rights Defenders around the world.

Read stories of human rights defenders In Their own Words:

                                        Collective Colombian HRDs