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UN Human Rights Council 43: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders

International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, yesterday delivered a UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders.

Thank you, Madam President,

The United Kingdom welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s report. We recognise the huge contribution that human rights defenders make to the promotion of the rights of their fellow citizens, and to furthering the development of their countries.

The UK agrees that efforts can, and should, be stepped up to ensure the full inclusion and participation of women in peacebuilding. We are concerned by an increase in reprisals against women peacebuilders. The UK is supporting International Civil Society Action Network to develop a protection framework for women peacebuilders. The framework will provide guidance to States and multilateral institutions on how to better protect women peacebuilders, and how to respond when reprisals occur. Madam President, I hope the UN and States present will sign up to the framework in due course.

The UK remains concerned about the risks faced by human rights defenders in Colombia. We welcome the Colombian government’s willingness to accept a visit by the Special Rapporteur, and its stated commitment to improving the situation.

I would like to ask the Special Rapporteur how States can ensure full inclusion of women, including women human rights defenders, in post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, and what more this Council can do to give them a platform.

Thank you.


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