Agenda Item:3 Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural right
Statement by: International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
Delivered by Alexandra Grigorescu / GICJ
05 March 2021
Thank you, President,
International protection of human rights defenders, who are being constantly threatened and attacked, is a widely needed step.
We are concerned about the dire reality of Latin America, which is the most affected region by threats and killings against human rights defenders. Prevalent impunity makes such pattern of violence very likely to continue. Those particularly vulnerable to attack are human rights defenders working on issues like indigenous peoples, environment or the impacts of business activities. They suffer all kinds of intimidations while governments remain indifferent.
In certain countries human rights defenders are viewed as “enemies of progress”. Public opinion often turns against them and little to nothing is done to protect them from attacks by private actors.
In this regard, we condemn the brutal repression unleashed over protestors in Iraq by both security forces and militias. The October 2019 demonstrations, where thousands of Iraqis spoke up against corruption, sectarianism, and human rights violations, were met by a ruthless response from the government. This reaction left hundreds dead and thousands wounded, on top of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances.
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice urge governments to ensure that human rights defenders can continue with their activities in a safe environment by establishing administrative and judicial mechanisms which can effectively protect them from threats and attacks.
Thank you, President
Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice