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EIDHR Forum 2014 Protecting Those Who Protect

14 May 2014

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Each year the European Commission organises a spring forum dedicated to the reality of Human Rights on the ground and in particular the implementation of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

Gathering, each year, 400 NGOs from all over the world, this year’s edition will focus on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). It timely follows the recent adoption of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) for 2014-2020, which gives a strengthened role to HRDs, endowed with additional funding facilities and further protection mechanisms.

The objective of this forum is threefold. First, it aims at defining priorities and avenues for concrete EU operational support to HRDs for the upcoming 7 years and at launching several related initiatives. Second, it aims, 10 year after the adoption of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, at reviewing field operations, operational good practices, concrete lessons learnt and practical adaptation in our support to HRDs. Third, it offers a useful opportunity for HRDs to gather, exchange concrete information, views and contacts, and to network between themselves or with the EU institutions.

Therefore, this Forum is taking place at a key moment when several ongoing related initiatives will converge, namely:

  • The launch of a comprehensive EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism, and the relevant related public procurements,
  • The inclusion of a temporary relocation system for HRDs at risk as a component of this mechanism (“City Shelter”)
  • The selection of new projects on Human Rights and their Defenders in the most difficult situation
  • The launch of the EIDHR Annual Action Plan (AAP) 2014, and the preparation of the upcoming AAP 2015
  • The potential adoption of the new EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression, currently in negotiation
  • The adoption of a Tool-box for working towards a Rights-based Approach, encompassing all Human Rights, for the EU Development Cooperation.


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