UN related

UNITED NATIONS – A UN General Assembly committee has agreed a landmark first resolution on women's rights defenders such as Malala Yousafzai, despite a hard fought campaign by an alliance including the Vatican to weaken the measure.

A Norwegian-led coalition, which has prepared the resolution for months, had to delete language that condemned "all forms of violence against women" to get the text passed by consensus late Wednesday, November 27.

The resolution for the protection of women human rights defenders is to be discussed in the next 24 hours. This is the first time a resolution on the situation and significance of women human rights defenders has been put on the table.  So, we have some hours to make more noise about the importance of the resolution and name the States that are not co-sponsoring or the ones who are silent against the attacks to the spirit of the resolution. Also why not congratulate the ones that have and ask them why supporting the resolution is important!

لم يغب الدمار الذي خلفه إعصار هايان في الفلبين عن أذهان قادة عالم المساعدات الدولية الذين اجتمعوا في لانكستر هاوس في لندن لمناقشة حماية النساء والفتيات أثناء حالات الطوارئ. إذ تعاني النساء والفتيات في المناطق التي ضربها الإعصار- واللائي كن في بعض الأحيان الناجيات الوحيدات في عائلاتهن- من أجل الحصول على المساعدات الأساسية في حالة من التدهور الأمني. وقال المتحدثون أن هذه هي اللحظة التي يحتاج فيها المستجيبون إلى توفير الحماية– أي منذ الساعات الأولى لحالة الطوارئ.

السيد الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، ومكتب المفوضية السامية لحقوق الإنسان: أوقفوا عقوبة الرجم الآن

إن عقوبة "الرجم" ليست مجرد بقايا من الماضي، فهذا العقاب الوحشي لا يزال موجودا في أربعة عشر بلدا حول العالم.

في كردستان العراق عام 2008، هربت عزيز (16 عاما) للزواج من رجل ضد رغبة والديها، والتمست المساعدة من مصلحة إنهاء العنف المنزلي خوفا على حياتها، لكن المصلحة أعادتها لوالدها، وقامت عائلتها برجمها حتى الموت.

There is less than a week before the draft resolution will come up for adoption. 

The following States have co-sponsored the resolution so far:
Armenia, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, EU, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Jordan, Lebanon, Vanuatu, Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, USA,  New Zealand.

But push back continues on several aspects of the text, including:  

  • the inclusion of references to gender
  • explicit reference to WHRDs working to promote sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights and matters related to sexuality
  • several States  are pushing for the inclusion of more references to the 'responsibilities' of human rights defenders.

Over 70 African civil society organisations have signed an open letter to the Africa Group urging them to support all aspects of the resolution

We need to keep urging States to support the resolution! 


Nous vous écrivons en tant qu’un groupe de défenseurs des droits de l'homme Africains et des organisations de la société civile travaillant un peu partout sur le continent  tant aux  niveaux national, régional et international. Nous suivons avec un grand intérêt les négociations sur le projet de résolution sur la protection des femmes défenseurs des droits humains actuellement en discussion d au sein du  Troisième Comité de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. C'est la première fois qu'un projet de résolution qui traite exclusivement de ​​la protection des femmes défenseurs des droits de l'homme est discuté au sein de ce comité. Ce projet représente une initiative extrêmement importante et significative pour les sociétés africaines.

Les femmes qui s'engagent dans la défense de tous les droits de l'homme et tous ceux qui défendent les droits des femmes et travaillent sur les questions liées à l'égalité des sexes apportent une contribution essentielle aux processus démocratiques, à la construction de la paix et au maintien de la sécurité, du développement et le respect des droits de l'homme dans nos communautés. Cependant, dans ce travail, les femmes défenseurs des droits humains peuvent faire face à une série de violations et d'abus - y compris les violences fondées sur le sexe – de la part des acteurs étatiques et non étatiques. Les États doivent porter une attention  particulière aux risques encourus par les femmes défenseurs des droits de l'homme, reconnaître la valeur de leur rôle, et s'engager à assurer leur protection. C'est le moment pour tous les États de faire preuve de leadership en soutenant une résolution qui vise à reconnaître ce rôle au plan mondial.


We write to you as a group of African human rights defenders and civil society organizations located across the continent working at national, regional and international levels. We are following negotiations on the draft resolution on the protection of women human rights defenders currently being advanced in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, with great interest.  This is the first time a draft resolution has been put forward focusing exclusively on the protection of women human rights defenders.   It is a hugely significant and important initiative for African societies. 

Women who engage in the defence of all human rights and all those who defend the rights of women and work on issues related to gender equality make a vital contribution to democratic processes, securing and maintaining peace, and ensuring security, development and respect for human rights in our communities.   However, in doing this work, women human rights defenders can face a range of violations and abuses – including gender-based violence – at the hands of State and non-State actors.   States need to pay attention to the risks faced by women human rights defenders, acknowledge the value of their role, and commit to ensuring their protection. This is the time for all States to show leadership by supporting a resolution that seeks to do this globally. 

It is commonly assumed that Muslim women are frustrated in their pursuit of property rights because those rights are limited under the Islamic legal system, they lack agency in the face of oppressive family and social structures and have an absence of conviction in their articulation of gender rights.

Governments should support an important international resolution on the situation and protection of women human rights defenders, the International Service for Human Rights said today.

As we speak, a resolution is being negotiated at the General Assembly in New York on the protection of women human rights defenders (WHRDs).  This is the first time women defenders have been the focus of a draft resolution at the United Nations. Such an initiative is the result of activists’ work over many years raising awareness about the challenges, risks and attacks faced by women human rights defenders and their specific protection needs.  The resolution would provide much needed recognition of WHRDs and their work, and would be an important tool in urging States to create enabling environments in which WHRDs can carry out their activities, free from intimidation, threats or attacks.

Syndicate content