NPWJ welcomes and supports the creation of the Italian network of human rights defenders “In Difesa Di”

15 Apr, 2017 | Press Releases

15 April 2017
The ” In Difesa Di – per i diritti umani e chi li difende” network is a coalition of over 30 Italian organizations and associations (including No Peace Without Justice) which are active on issues such as the promotion of human rights, environment, international solidarity, peace and disarmament, workers’ rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law.

The network aims to unite the strengths and competences of these organizations to open up an area of ​​reflection and action in Italy on the issue of human rights defenders and to call on the Government, the Parliament and local authorities to engage for their protection. In addition to pressure on political decision-makers, the network works on specific countries and cases, raising public awareness and mobilizing its adherents and other realities of Italian and international civil society. The network has already achieved significant results: in November 2016, the Italian Parliament hosted an international conference with human rights advocates from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, India and Mauritania, and on 31 January 2017, its Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution urging the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen their commitment to protecting human rights defenders.

The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1998, defines human rights defenders as anyone who works, individually or together with others, to promote and protect human rights in a non-violent manner. Human rights defenders are individuals who are opposed to dictatorships and oppressive regimes, who fight for freedom of expression and against discrimination and injustice, who document human rights abuses and who defends the environment. Human rights defenders are the visible face of movements, organizations, communities, peoples claiming their right to exist, to mobilize, to defend their dignity. It is estimated that only in 2016 there were at least 280 human rights defenders killed in the world. Nearly half were indigenous leaders, environmentalist activists, and land rights, and there are at least a thousand cases of threats, persecution, torture or detention.

The “In Defense Di” network was born to promote campaigns and initiatives to protect human rights defenders, to raise public awareness on these issues, and to call on Italian institutions (government, parliament and local authorities) to commit themselves to develop tools and mechanisms for protecting human rights defenders and human rights.

The network consists of:
AIDOSAmnesty International ItaliaAOIARCIARCSAssociazione AntigoneAssociazione Articolo 21Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani – Università di PadovaCISDACoalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti CiviliComune-infoCGILComitato Verità e Giustizia per i Nuovi DesaparecidosCOSPEFondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso-IssocoGiuristi DemocraticiGreenpeace ItaliaLegambienteLibera-Associazione Nomi e Numeri contro le mafieNon c’è Pace senza GiustiziaOperazione Colomba – Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIIIRadicali ItalianiRete per la PaceTerra NuovaProgetto Endangered Lawyers/Avvocati Minacciati, Unione Camere Penali ItalianeUn ponte per…Yaku.

With the support of: Peace Brigades International Italia e Centro Studi Difesa Civile.