Press release | Date: 25/03/2010| No: 29/2010
Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a Norwegian proposal on strengthening protection of human rights defenders all over the world.
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, commented, “I am very pleased that Norway’s initiative has resulted in a unanimous decision in the UN Human Rights Council on such an important issue.”
Human rights defenders means individuals and organisations fighting against discrimination and for justice throughout the world. They include democracy activists, journalists, authors, trade union leaders, lawyers, and campaigners for gay and lesbian rights and for freedom of religion and religious minorities’ rights.
The Human Rights Council decision expresses deep concern about attacks against human rights defenders. It particularly emphasises the importance of recognising the key role played by human rights defenders in promoting peace and human rights, and urges states to draw up concrete protection measures.
“Various human rights organisations, the EU and the US have been among our strongest supporters in this effort to protect human rights defenders. We have in addition considered it important to establish close contact and cooperation with moderate countries from all regions. It is this approach that has enabled us to achieve results and that enables us to win support for important issues in the Human Rights Council,” said Mr Støre.