Resumen disponible en español
Hay una realidad inocultable, la defensa de los derechos humanos en el mundo afecta la salud física, emocional, psicológica, mental, espiritual y las relaciones familiares, amorosas, sexuales, de amistad y de trabajo de quienes se dedican a este quehacer, pues nuestro sistema nervioso no está diseñado para resistir las amenazas, la presión, la inseguridad, el acoso, las violaciones, el sufrimiento, las injusticias y, en sí, la brutalidad humana, sin dejar consecuencias en nuestra salud integral.
Well-being and security of defenders
Resumen disponible en español
Since the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, there has been considerable effort to recognize and protect the rights of people to defend their own and others’ human rights. Over time, an international protection regime for human rights defenders has emerged, aimed at protecting and supporting defenders in the face of threats and risks. Based upon the international human rights framework, this protection regime focuses on human security, and consists of a variety of actors and mechanisms operating at national, regional, and international levels.
Thank you for joining Daniel D’Esposito of HURIDOCS, Enrique Piracés of Benetech and the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools held from June 9th to the 13th, 2014.
Documentation is a crucial aspect of the quest for justice, accountability and transparency. Whether our goal is to raise awareness about an issue, build a case for human rights court or commission, or collect evidence for a criminal proceeding, documenting what happened (or what is happening) is often the first step towards positive change.
The information we are collecting is sensitive by nature. It often includes information about human rights abuses such as victims' testimonies, names of perpetrators, witnesses, and locations. It may include digital evidence like video or images. How can defenders, who are not technologists, ensure that their information is secure? How can defenders reduce their own risk of harm throughout the documentation process? How can defenders make sure that they have the ability to uphold their commitment to safeguarding the information of vulnerable populations?
The Otpor! student movement in Serbia built a broad constituency of support by continuously innovating and combining tactics to ensure the safety of their volunteers and break down the fear of its people to speak out against the government. The content of the notebook focuses on “Plan B,” one tactic they used to do this. When Serb authorities began arresting demonstrators, Otpor!’s support base could have disintegrated due to fear.
Thank you for joining Analia Penchaszadeh and Katherine Ronderos (co-facilitators) of the Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative, Association for Women's Rights in Development for this important conversation! This dialogue was an opportunity to explore the innovative ways that practitioners promote and support their well-being, self-care and security as well as their colleagues. New Tactics has hosted a series of dialogues on keeping human rights defenders safe and well. From this base of individuals, organizations and information, we hosted a dialogue that focused on the next steps and tactics in sustaining the well-being and security of defenders, with particular attention paid to the needs of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs).
Thank you for joining New Tactics, Jane Barry and other practitioners for an online dialogue on Being Well and Staying Safe: Resources for human rights defenders. Human rights work is a powerful and fulfilling vocation. And it is equally hugely challenging for human rights practitioners. The nature of this work exposes defenders to distressing and threatening situations. The need to take care of one’s self is extremely important, as is the need to take care of, protect and support each other. Human rights defenders cannot be well without being safe. Likewise, they cannot truly be safe without being well.
Human rights work is a powerful and fulfilling vocation. And it is equally hugely challenging for human rights practitioners. These practitioners are often exposed to distressing situations directly and indirectly. From those working directly with survivors of human rights abuses to those working indirectly on human rights abuse issues, the need for taking care of one’s self is extremely important. We all know that the work is precious and valuable, and yes, we need to be strong, healthy and balanced to do it well -- but we take care of ourselves first and foremost because we are valuable.
In this dialogue, practitioners that work with human rights defenders developing security strategies discussed how human rights defenders and organizations can improve their safety and security while working in the field under oppressive conditions and under the watchful eye of states and adversaries. Specifically, the participants discussed and shared tactics, strategies and resources on how human rights defenders can create effective security protocols to protect themselves against physical threats and secure their data in the field or office.