Araminta’s pledge for the Human Rights 75 Initiative

9 December 2023 |

This December, the international community celebrates both the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. These are key international documents that provide a basis for our understanding of human rights and those who defend these rights – often at their own great risk. But the question remains: what next and how do we bring these covenants to life?

It is human rights defenders who bring international covenants, like the Universal Declaration, to life. The rights they defend are not abstract. Despite the relatively clear definition we have of what a human rights defender is, it remains difficult to imagine the work they do and the risks they face.

This is Araminta’s pledge as part of the UN Human Rights 75 campaign:

We pledge to work effectively and in solidarity with our colleagues in the human rights community throughout Europe to provide emergency support, shelter, respite, and rehabilitation for our unwaveringly brave colleagues whose defence of human rights puts them in harm’s way. We will tackle entirely solvable, yet systemic, problems that human rights defenders face when attempting to obtain a safe haven in the EU.

We pledge to push for lifting bureaucratic roadblocks that thwart the travel of human rights defenders from around the world. They are our allies in democratic security. They fight for the same protections in their home countries we in Europe enjoy, and they risk their lives every day to achieve them.

We pledge to promote existing recommendations for policy and procedural changes that will lead to increased security for our human rights defender colleagues. This change will come faster and be more effective if achieved through collaborative horizontal networks and coalitions that leverage all of our strengths. Our focus will be on:

– educating policy makers on the needs of human rights defenders, particularly their need for swift facilitation for travel to the EU in cases of emergency, for temporary respite, and for professional networking and briefing purposes

– encouraging EU member states with existing human rights defender visa and travel facilitations to demonstrate best and promising practices and to share these with other member states as a model for work

Read more:

Human Rights 75 Initiative 

Pledging Guidance for Civil Society Organizations