Human rights defenders

Since 2013 we have invited over seventy human rights defenders from more than thirty countries in the world, most of which are threatened, persecuted or have been deprived of liberty due to their work.

We have also promoted several campaigns calling for the release of human rights defenders imprisoned due to their defence of human rights. Many remain imprisoned today.

Why do they fight for?

Human rights defenders work, organize themselves and fight to defend the rights of women, of the LGBTIQ+ community, the right to peace, the rights of migrants and refugees, of ethnic and national minorities, the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the right to memory, of self-determination, and to an adequate standard of living.

Meet the activists

Categoría Activista

Magaly Castillo

Nicaragua, in exile in Catalonia
Feminist activism and popular theater for the defense of human rights

Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

Bahrain
Right to freedom of opinion and expression

Ahmed Ettanji

Western Sahara
Defense of the right to peace and civil and political rights

Nadia Ghulam

Afganistan
Defensant els drets humans des de Catalunya: drets de les dones.

Aisha Altubuly

Libya
Right to peace.

Aisha Dabo

Senegal / Gambia
Feminist cyberactivism for democracy and human rights.

Dora Muñoz

Colombia
Indigenous Peoples’s Rights. Environmental Rights.

Diana Damián Palencia

Mexico
Women’s rights. Migrant and refugee rights.

Jorge Weke

Chile
Indigenous Peoples’s Rights.

Fatimah Hossaini

Afganistan
Migrant and refugee rights. Women’s rights.

Yezli Mic

El Salvador
Drets de les dones

Carlos Andrés Tobar

Colombia
LGBTIQ+ Rights. Migrant and refugee rights.

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.