What is “inter-mechanisms”?

EN | FR | ES

.

THIS WEBSITE IS BEING UPDATED

Since the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, several mechanisms of protection were created within many of the existing inter-governmental organisations: the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, the African Commission Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa, the Functional Unit on Human Rights Defenders of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union.

All the inter-governmental organisations mentioned have different mandates, and diffent working methods.

In 2008 in Brussels, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), therefore took the initiative to gather for the first time all the human rights defenders’ institutional mandate-holders. The purpose was to draw a state of play of the existing means and techniques of protection, but also to find ways to enhance coordination and complementarities. Some of the main conclusions of this meeting were that information-sharing on both structural issues and individual cases had to be enhanced, working practices and limitations had to be further discussed, visilility of the mechanisms’ actions had to be strengthened.

At the second meeting in 2009 in Washington, which the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie attended, participants drew up strategies of increased cooperation on several issues such as:

- the visibility and effectiveness of their actions,
- modalities of interaction between themselves, in particular in terms of:

  • communications on individual cases ,
  • country visits,
  • early-warning and protection measures,
  • the issue of judicial harassment against defenders.

The Observatory will be holding further follow-up “inter-mechanisms meetings” on a regular basis, fostering constructive initiatives for enhanced actions of protection.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Why an “inter-mechanisms” website?

Public information on the mandates and activities of the human rights defenders’ mechanisms is not always visible. It is sometimes split on different webpages, web sections or websites, sometimes merely not available online.

The creation of a single website gathering all relevant public information on the activities of the different human rights defenders’ protection mandate-holders was actually one of the conclusions of the Washington meeting. It aims at increasing the visibility of the documentation produced by the mechanisms – press releases, studies, reports, statements, etc., as well as of their actions (country visits, institutional events, trials observed).

_________________________________________________________________________________

How can you find the information you need?

The website is designed for both mechanisms themselves, and human rights defenders and NGOs. It is made up of different sections corresponding to each mechanism. Each section is composed of sub-sections, outlining a general presentation of the mandate in question, a page gathering all the reports produced, a page on public reactions, and a fourth one about missions.

Individual cases of human rights defenders addressed by the mechanisms can be found:

- in the 2007 and 2008 reports of the ODIHR Focal Point
- in the reports and press releases sections of the IACHR Functional Unit
- in the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur, in particular those dealing with individual communications to States
- in some of the reports of the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe

Structural issues concerning the situation of human rights defenders are outlined:

- in the 2007 and 2008 reports of the ODIHR Focal Point,
- in the reports section of the IACHR Functional Unit
- in the thematic annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly
- in some of the reports of the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

_________________________________________________________________________________

.

Mechanisms taking part in the inter-mechanisms meetings:

- United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
- African Commission Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa,
- Functional Unit on Human Rights Defenders of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,
- Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Council of Europe,
- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
- European Union
- International Organisation of the Francophonie

.

Organisers of the inter-mechanisms meetings:

- International Federation for Human Rights and World Organisation Against Torture, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

.

Non-governmental organisations taking part in the inter-mechanisms meetings:

- International Federation for Human Rights and World Organisation Against Torture, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- Amnesty International
- Front Line
- Human Rights First

_________________________________________________________________________________


This website is run by the Observatory for the Protection of human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of FIDH and OMCT.

4 Responses to “About”

  1. Its nice to have detail information of the inter state mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders.

    At the same time I feel sad as there is no inter state mechanism to protect HRDs in Asia.

    Sincerely

    Mr. Amitra Sudan Chakrabortty
    B.Com(Hons), LL.M., Ph.D (pursuing)
    Founder and Managing Trustee
    M A N A B
    A Human Rights Organization
    Asansol, West Bengal
    India
    http://www.manab.webs.com

    and

    Founder and Editor
    INDIAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS STUDIES
    ISSN ISSN 2231-4296 (PRINT and CD-ROM Edition)
    http://manab.webs.com/biannualjournal.htm

  2. Abhijeet Sinha says:

    “It sounds like healing wounds that there is someone to defend Human Rights Defenders whose lives and health are at risk because of their peaceful and legitimate activities and they may get targeted & victimised any moment with arbitrary use of power, force & police.”

    Jai Hind !

    Abhijeet Sinha
    New Delhi, India
    Social Activist, Author, Columnist,
    RTI Activist, Human Rights Defender,
    C.A. & Financial Offense Analyst

  3. Dear All,

    This is to bring to your kind notice that I am pursuing my PhD on the issue of protection of Human Rights Defenders in India. I have started my Doctoral work in the year 2011. I am at data collecting stage.

    So I need your help.

    If you have any literature on Human Rights Defenders worldwide with special emphasis of Indian HRDs then plz share the same with me at asc2law@gmail.com

    If you know any Human Rights Defenders/Activists or Indian/International Human Rights organization working in India, them kindly share those information with me at my aforesaid email address.

  4. I am much impressed by the Front Line Defenders’ Strategic Plan 2011 -2014
    Several thousand years ago Sun Tzu set down a concept which has been repeated in the handbooks of oppressors right up to the present day:

    ‘Kill one, terrify a thousand.’

    Front Line seeks to do the opposite.

    ‘Protect one, empower a thousand.’
    I would like to convey my sincere thanks to The Front Line for its recent concern for me, and writing a letter to the authority. It was so kind of The Front Line to speak favorable about my situation. It was just what I needed but never expected! I am truly touched by The Front Line generosity, spirit, and willingness to get out of its way to help me. The Front Line are my real neighbor. I am indeed lucky to have a neighbor like it in my life. Thank you again for being so helpful and thoughtful.

    Sardar Mushtaq Gill (Advocate)
    Human Rights Defender
    National Director: LEAD
    Email:leadpakistan2009@gmail.com
    Cell No: +92 333 4375681
    http://www.leadfamily.blogspot.com/

Leave a Comment