Sunflower Declaration: a call to protect HRDs through concrete measures

31 August 2023 |

Photo: ©William Keo / Magnum Photos

The “Sunflower Declaration,” which Araminta endorsed and which was issued as part of the Nobel Peace Conference 2023, reiterates that human rights defenders (HRDs) must have the ability to safely conduct their work in order to create positive and lasting change. However, attacks against HRDs are increasing around the world and most of them go unpunished.

To address these challenges, the Sunflower Declaration puts forward recommendations to governments, multilateral organisations, businesses and investors, donor organisations, cities and universities, which can all contribute to increasing protections for HRDs at risk. In particular, the Declaration calls upon:

  • Governments to adopt standards “to ensure that human rights defenders are […] enabled to continue their work” and to “introduce a flexible, rapid response, temporary protective visa system for human rights defenders facing imminent danger,” and to “curb the practice of criminalizing and harassing human rights defenders”;
  • Businesses and investors to “adopt and comply with OECD/UN guidelines on businesses and human rights”. PI regularly provides inputs when such guidelines are being reviewed to ensure they promote rights-respecting development, protect civil society participation and defend the defenders by including strong protections for human rights defenders who denounce business abuses and human rights violations.

Araminta has been promoting reforms to the EU’s visa policy to enable at-risk HRDs to access EU territory as part of their protection strategy. Araminta also supports the integration of HRDs into human rights due diligence processes in order to ensure that businesses receive the most accurate information about the human rights impacts of their activities.

Read more:
The Sunflower Declaration (Nobel Peace Centre)

Watch a video about the initiative: