Human Rights Defenders are those who work non-violently on behalf of others for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This includes those who work for civil and political rights, social, economic, environmental and cultural rights, and the right to equality, such as those working for women’s rights and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights.
Some examples of HRDs are: a group running a legal aid clinic; an organisation which documents torture (including rape) and assists the survivors; those working for the rights of disadvantaged communities such as women or bonded labour; anti-corruption activists; workers at women’s shelters; indigenous leaders advocating for the rights of their communities; protesters against environmental damage; those working for the right to express sexual identity and orientation. Sometimes these HRDs have been victims themselves and then begin working for others, for example a wife whose husband has disappeared who organises other family members to work to bring the perpetrators of disappearances to justice. Sometimes HRDs work in human rights organisations, sometimes they work alone.
The Workbook takes you through the steps to producing a security plan – for yourself and for your organisation (for those HRDs who are working in organisations). It follows a systematic approach for assessing your security situation and developing risk and vulnerability reduction strategies and tactics.