2024 European Elections: Araminta’s Manifesto

5 June 2024

Araminta asks the citizens of the European Union to consider how their vote will affect the protection of human rights defenders in the EU and beyond. As an organisation dedicated to enabling the work of human rights defenders, we call upon policy makers and civil society to link efforts to promote comprehensive measures that will safeguard defenders, and in turn, the rights they protect for all citizens. Our Manifesto can be read below.

EU Elections 2024 – Araminta’s Manifesto:

Support for human rights defenders (HRDs) is one of the major priorities of the EU’s external human rights policy. Protecting these defenders at risk is core to the European Union’s pledge to safeguard and advance human rights globally.

Human rights defenders are brave individuals and groups who dedicate their lives to the peaceful promotion of human rights and protection of others against systemic abuse. Their work forms the bedrock of justice, equality, and democracy. Many HRDs are confronted with threats due to their work and often face grave risks to themselves and their families. They are subject to harassment, threats, violence, imprisonment, and even killings. This manifesto is our promise to create a safer and more supportive environment for HRDs within the European Union.

The 2024 EU elections offer a unique chance to take a definitive stand in protecting HRDs. These courageous individuals breathe life into international agreements like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The rights they defend are vital and tangible. Despite their critical roles, the work and perils of HRDs remain largely invisible.

The Protection of HRDs across Europe requires:

Effective Solidarity and Support:

– Forge strong alliances with human rights organisations to provide emergency support, shelter, respite, and rehabilitation for HRDs.

– Dismantle systemic barriers preventing HRDs from finding refuge in the EU while doing their work in their respective constituencies.

Removal of Bureaucratic Obstacles:

– Advocate for eliminating bureaucratic hurdles that impede the travel of HRDs to the EU.

– Recognize HRDs as vital allies in promoting democratic security and fighting for protections we cherish in Europe.

– Facilitate flexibility in their ability to travel and stay short or longer-term in the EU as a means of protection

Policy and Procedural Changes:

– Promote and implement policy and procedural change recommendations to bolster HRD security.

– Promote and support collaborative networks and coalitions of civil society groups to provide responsive assistance to HRDs at risk.

Educating Policymakers and Citizens

– Inform policymakers about the urgent needs of HRDs, stressing the necessity for swift travel facilitation to the EU in emergencies, temporary respite, and professional networking and briefing purposes.

– Demonstrate through stories and public engagements, the real work and impact of human rights defenders in order to deepen public understanding around the necessity of their work and the need for their protection.

Showcasing Best Practices:

– Encourage EU member states with existing HRD visa and travel facilitation programs to share their best practices with other member states.

– Serve as a model for effective support and protection.

Our Vision for the European Union

Only through solidarity,  can we forge a Europe that stands as a bastion for human rights and those who fight tirelessly to uphold them. Carrying out these bold steps will ensure that the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders are celebrated, actively implemented, and safeguarded.