UN General Assembly: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome the adoption of the resolution on the protection of human rights defenders

20 Dec, 2015 | Press Releases

20 December 2015
On 17 December 2015, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) plenary adopted the resolution entitled ”Human Rights Defenders in the context of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” (70/161), by 127 votes in favour, 14 votes against and 41 abstentions. This is an increased majority on the vote at the UNGA Third Committee on 25 November 2015.

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the adoption of this resolution by a clear majority of States as a strong recognition of the need to protect those who face risks and attacks for their work to defend human rights.

Human rights defenders make a vital contribution to the promotion and respect for human rights, democratic processes, securing and maintaining peace and security, and advancing development in our countries.  However, in doing this work, defenders often face a range of specific violations and abuses at the hands of State and non-State actors that dedicate considerable resources to silencing these brave men and women, or to undermine and delegitimise their important role.

We congratulate and thank the 127 delegations that, as requested by the joint statement endorsed by 180 NGOs, voted in favour of the resolution and thereby demonstrated their continued commitment to protecting human rights defenders and enabling their critical contribution in the pursuit of freedom, equality, justice and human dignity, all core universal values.

For further information, contact Alison Smith on asmith@npwj.org or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini onngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.