Stockholm, Apr. 11.─ After lengthy preparations and hard work, Civil Rights Defenders finally opened up its doors to Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk. This year 160 human rights defenders from 35 countries participated, alongside leading human rights experts from all over the world.
Civil Rights Defenders had the pleasure to welcome the world’s foremost human rights experts to this year’s Defenders’ Days from Abril 4 to April 7. One of them is Robert Godden, who is the director of campaigns and communications at Rights Exposure. This year he hosted two separate trainings on how to use images for impact in Human Rights Campaigns.
The participants often face human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrest, detention, threats and harassment in their important missión to protect people's rights. Another outstanding participant this year is Alfredo Romero, a Venezuelan Human Rights Lawyer with a mission to assist victims of State repression. He is also the founder of the Venezuelan Penal Forum.
In addition, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, sent a video clip welcoming all human rights defenders who were participating at Defenders' Day.
The four day long Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk conference included both inspirational sessions and social events, giving all the participants the opportunity to acquire new knowledge ans skills as well as to broaden their network of colleagues. The conference consists of two parts; a closed and open session. The closed part of the conference is for invited human rights defenders at risk and relevant stakeholders, while the open session is for the public. The open session is aimed at increasing knowledge regarding the situation human rights defenders face on a daily basis to a broader audience.
On the 7th of April one prominent human rights defender received the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. The Civil Rights Defender of the Year is a person who, despite the risk to his or her own safety, continues to strive to ensure that other people’s civil and political rights are recognised and protected. Their work is carried out without the use of violence and within an independent human rights organisation.
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