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Human Rights Defenders Working Group meets to discuss new data monitoring tool

Graphic: Thousands of people holding candle lights

The APF’s Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Working Group met to discuss strategies to protect defenders throughout the region.

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The APF’s Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Working Group convened on 15 August for their second meeting to discuss the protection of defenders throughout the Asia Pacific.

The Working Group plays a vital role in providing leadership and strategic direction for the APF Regional Action Plan on HRDs, endorsed in 2021. The plan sets out the actions that the APF and its members will undertake by 2025 to strengthen HRDs' rights in the region.

The APF and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have committed to working together to develop an online data collection tool to support HRDs. The tool will be adapted from the DIHR’s “Right to Defend Rights” framework, which monitors progress in the enabling environment for human rights defenders.

During the meeting, the Working Group endorsed the new tool and explored ways to contribute to its development.

The data tool is primarily intended for use by NHRIs in partnership with HRD networks and groups. It draws its foundations from the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and relevant human rights instruments.

Specifically, the tool can be used to: 

  • Assess the enabling environment for human rights defenders, providing a baseline for the current human rights situation within each country. 
  • Produce data to inform NHRI strategic priorities and activities 
  • Provide a reporting framework on human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Facilitate stakeholder engagement and inform policy development on human rights

The new tool, currently being adapted to the Asia Pacific context to support the work of APF members, will be launched in early December 2023. We look forward to sharing more details about the official launch soon.

Date: 30 August 2023

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Funded by the European Union

Image credits

  1. Thousands of people holding candle lights - Kangsar on Shutterstock
  2. EU logo - European Union