Newsletter. Human rights defender Thematic page

Newsletter No. 5 2018 Human rights defender Thematic page

15.11 2018

Dear friends and colleagues,

2018 the year of Human Rights Defenders. When human rights defenders (HRD) are killed or forcibly disappeared with impunity, the signal given by the authorities is contempt for the human rights of everyone. Amnesty International Report: Deadly but preventable attacks

Amnesty International, has  together with other non-governmental and community-based organizations estimated that around 3,500 human rights defenders have been killed worldwide since the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defender´s in 1998. While governments tend to underreport such happenings the number is likely much higher.

This year we celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders as well as the 70-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since the beginning, the Universal declaration of Human Rights has been challenged, criticized and under attack. Nevertheless, the Declaration was the important beginning of the development and adoption of legally binding conventions, obliging ratifying states and to incorporate these into national law. The development we have been witness to, during these 70 years, is of vital significance to human rights and human dignity.

To stand up for these rights is of absolute priority. The term human rights defenders, referring to those who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights, play a central role in the ongoing process of defending and respecting human rights. 20 years after the Declaration on the situation of these defenders, much of their work is done under serious hardships, even at the risk of the life and integrity of the defenders. This includes smear campaigns, allegations of criminal acts such as money laundering, death threats, public humiliations and arbitrary detention and even killings.  The work of the defenders represents a deep necessity in a world where rights are being contested. This may also affect the mental health and wellbeing of the defenders, something which may be frequently neglected. We must never forget that many of the human rights defenders today are themselves survivors of serious human rights violations.

Human Rights Defenders icon

To honour the work of Human Rights Defenders everywhere we have made a thematic page related to Human rights defenders where we present the main declarations, resolutions, documents and other publications that are relevant for HRD. We have also included some links that may be relevant from a point of view of mental health and well-being of the defenders. This thematic page on HRD is simultaneously a sneak peak for our new website. We would be very pleased if you could have a look at it and let us know what you think about it. Your comments and ideas are welcome.

In addition to our thematic page we would like to mention the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS MEMORIAL This page commemorates those who were killed defending our rights.

All manuals can be downloaded from the MHHRI website

There are three different manuals, which respectively address working with women, with boys and men, and with children who have experienced sexual violence.

The manuals are translated into several languages. The page numbers in each manual remain the same across languages. This allows survivors and helpers to work from copies in their preferred language and read the same content on the same pages. It also makes it easier to teach participants when participants and trainers work in more than one language. The manuals include a toolbox. Survivors can use it individually to regulate their own emotions through grounding exercises or in collaboration with a helper. Helpers can also use grounding exercises to take care of themselves as helpers.

We appreciate feedback and comments 

Welcome to our new subscribers, we hope you will find our content useful. The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject from a mental health perspective. You will receive our newsletter 5 times a year.

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Sincerely yours,
Take care – and we are wishing you all the best.

Sincerely yours,

Mental Health and Human Rights Info