General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 adopting the Declaration on human rights defenders

Elaboration of the Declaration on human rights defenders began in 1984 and ended with the adoption of the text by the General Assembly in 1998, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A collective effort by a number of human rights non-governmental organizations and some State delegations helped to ensure that the final result was a strong, very useful and pragmatic text. Perhaps most importantly, the Declaration is addressed not just to States and to human rights defenders, but to everyone. It tells us that we all have a role to fulfil as human rights defenders and emphasizes that there is a global human rights movement that involves us all. The Declaration’s full name is 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” – with this longer title is frequently abbreviated to “The Declaration on human rights defenders”. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/Declaration.aspx

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