Why do they fight for?
United Nations support
Human rights defenders contribute to the effective elimination of all violations of human rights and fundamental liberties of people, considering the principles of equality, non-discrimination and fair life based on international human rights norms.
They promote the protection and guarantee of civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights. They realize many actions; from gathering and denouncing information about human rights violations and support victims at the juridical and psychosocial level, combating impunity of the culprits of human rights violations, strengthen accountability mechanisms, mobilize public opinion, among others. They also defend the rights of collectives who suffer discrimination and oppression (women, LGBTI, indigenous people…).
Usually their task implies a risk against their physical and mental integrity, and many times they are targets of attacks and threats, both from governmental actors and other actors such as landowners, paramilitaries, organized crime, etc.
On December 9th, 1998, the United Nations General Assembly, based on its resolution 53/144, approved a declaration known as the “Declaration on human rights defenders”, in which it is recognised that “Each person has a right, individually or collectively, to promote and guarantee the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental liberties at the national and international level”.
More recently, resolution 60/161 of the United Nations General Assembly of December 16th 2005 asks, among others, that: “4 …States adopt all necessary measures, at the local and national level, to guarantee the protection of human rights defenders, particularly in contexts of conflict and peacekeeping”. It is this obligation that makes the participant municipalities engage in this project.