Protecting Those at Risk

The Role of Diaspora in Refugee Resettlement

Summary Available

In September of 2016, a high-level summit on large movements of refugees and migrants was called, a first at the Heads of State and Government level, by the UN General Assembly. The goal was to seek a better international response to the growing refugee situation. As local conflicts and global tensions between countries have been exasperated in recent years, more than 65.3 million people are currently facing years of displacement after fleeing violence in their own homelands. Numerous issues have been raised, particularly focusing on the responsibility of host countries (countries that receive refugees) to protect, assist, and resettle.

Violence against Women: Advocating for Legal Reform

Summary Available:

Across the world, women are abused, trafficked, raped and killed. Violence against women is a grave violation of human rights, negatively affecting women’s well-being and precluding women from fully participating in society. It not only leads to severe physical, sexual and mental consequences to each individual victim, but tears their families, community and society apart.

Protection of Indigenous Land Rights: Challenges & Remedies

Summary Available:

There are estimated to be 370 million indigenous people in the world, from 5,000 different ethnic groups, living in 90 countries. James Anaya, former Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People, has defined indigenous people as "living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others. They are culturally distinct groups that find themselves engulfed by other settler societies born of forces of empire and conquest." Despite the United Nations having issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including land rights, the land rights of indigenous people have increasingly come under threat.

Protecting Survivors and Witnesses

Summary available:
Protecting survivors and witnesses of human rights violations is crucial to effective human rights work. Protection is important because when survivors and witnesses fear further persecution, they are unlikely to report their experiences, making redress and accountability much more difficult. The state is formally responsible for providing protection, but it is the state that is often the greatest source of perceived risk amongst witnesses and survivors. In this conversation, participants together with New Tactics in Human Rights and DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture) discussed the various strategies to protect witnesses and survivors of human rights violations, the challenges faced and the role of civil society.

Evaluating the Human Rights Defender ‘Protection Regime’

Summary available:
Since the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, there has been considerable effort to recognize and protect the rights of people to defend their own and others’ human rights. Over time, an international protection regime for human rights defenders has emerged, aimed at protecting and supporting defenders in the face of threats and risks. Based upon the international human rights framework, this protection regime focuses on human security, and consists of a variety of actors and mechanisms operating at national, regional, and international levels.

Human Trafficking: Victim Related Services

Summary Available:

In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that nearly 21 million people were victims of human trafficking, including approximately 5.5 million children, trafficked primarily into forced labor and sexual exploitation. The need for victim related services is great and, sadly, growing. Victim services range from legal assistance to safe havens; employment training to mental health rehabilitation.

In this conversation summary, resources, approaches and examples were shared to assist practitioners fighting against human trafficking. Conversation leaders discussed communication and institutional barriers to providing services to trafficked persons.

Tactics for Combating Militarisation

Summary available (in English and Spanish)

Thank you for joining War Resisters International and the New Tactics community for an online conversation on tactics for combating the militarisation of education, public spaces, vulnerable communities, entertainment and culture, from June 10 to 14, 2013.

Governments and other military actors around the world target youth and other vulnerable communities for military recruitment and service. Simultaneously, the militarisation of public spheres such as space and culture promote the acceptance of the prioritising of military capability and approaches. In response, human rights organizations and other campaigners have developed innovative ways of combating increasing militarisation. Practitioners are exploring ways to utilize international mechanisms to support the right to conscientious objection - one of the most visible ways of rejecting militarisation. Other practitioners are working to stop the disproportionate targeting of vulnerable communities for military recruitment, such as youth and people of lower income, by raising the awareness of cultural recruitment and creating “military-free schools”.

Monitoring Prisons to Prevent Abuse

Summary available

Thank you for joining the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the New Tactics online community for an online conversation on Monitoring Prisons to Prevent Abuse from April 15 to 19.

Prisoners are vulnerable because they are deprived of their liberty and find themselves in a situation of unbalance vis-à-vis the detaining authorities. Monitoring prisons and police detention facilities is one of the most effective ways of preventing torture and ill-treatment and making the authorities accountable. More and more actors are present in places of detention with the aim of preventing torture and other ill-treatment, but challenges remain numerous.

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