Civil and political rights defenders
Civil and political rights defenders seek the promotion, protection and realization of individuals’ universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. They also ensure that all individuals have the ability to participate in civil and political life without discrimination or repression. They may be active in both democratic and authoritarian regimes.
Their motivation and work recognizes that everyone deserves to be treated equally and must be able to enjoy their civil rights such as protection from all forms of discrimination as well as their political rights to vote, assemble or petition regardless of their background. In practice, their work advances people’s civil and political rights through advocacy, legal representation of individuals whose rights have been infringed upon, litigation or public campaigns.
The work of civil and political rights defenders is essential to ensuring that individuals can freely enjoy their civil and political rights, wherever they may be. The nature of their work which seeks to protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations and private individuals, entails putting pressure on the duty bearers. Because of this, they often need to work in hidden networks. This leaves them vulnerable to harassment, smear campaigns, arrest and detention and possibly, disappearances and murder. We must ensure that civil and political rights defenders are able to continue their work safely and efficiently.
Shelter City stands side by side with civil and political rights defenders.