Joint Statement on Human Rights Defenders

Joint Statement on Human Rights Defenders

March 11, 2021

46th Human Rights Council Session

Interactive Dialogue with the UN SR on Human Rights Defenders

Joint Statement  by Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, ILGA World, Arrow and Rutgers

Watch our statement on UN Web TV here: 
Joint Statement by Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, ILGA World, Arrow and Rutgers


See our full statement below:

Madam special rapporteur,


We welcome your report presented to this council. We note with grave concern the killing of young human rights defenders and the chilling effect this practice has on civic space for youth. 


We are especially concerned for young Human Rights Defenders that face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. We work actively with marginalized youth, including young women and girls, LGBTI and sex workers, and are inspired by their dedication to activism and courage to claim their rights.


However, this work is not without risk and repercussions. Several of our partners have been killed or threatened over the last years, including the killing of Bessy Watson and Scarleth Campbell, two young trans women from Honduras. 


The shrinking of civic space by brutally murdering activists is an abhorrent practice and flagrant violation of fundamental human rights. Such killings risk creating a generation fearful to stand up for their rights. They have to stop - immediately.


We ask madam rapporteur: What best practices can you share to protect young human rights defenders at risk?


In Peru, LGBTI defenders are attacked by conservative politicians and religious groups, subjected to defamation campaigns and threats of violence. Peaceful demonstrations by LGBTI activists are not protected by police. We urge the State to implement your recommendations. There is a need for awareness campaigns, training public officials, ending criminalization and robust measures to protect the LGBTI defenders.


We thank you.