Second "inter-mechanisms" meeting: definition of strategies of increased cooperation

Geneva-Paris-Washington, October 27, 2009. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcome the conclusions of the meeting they co-hosted on the strengthening of interaction and complementarity between international and regional mechanisms and institutions for the protection of human rights defenders.

This meeting, held on October 21 and 22, 2009 in Washington DC at the invitation of the IACHR, gathered most of human rights defenders’ protection mandate-holders at international and regional levels, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, the Unit on Human Rights Defenders of the IACHR, the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Major international NGOs involved in the protection of human rights defenders at risk also actively contributed to the discussion, bringing special focus on the field impact of protection measures implemented by such mechanisms and institutions.

Participants drew strategies of increased cooperation on the visibility and effectiveness of their actions, as well as the modalities of interaction between themselves, in particular in terms of individual communications, country visits, follow-up techniques, early-warning and protection measures including in the field of judicial harassment against defenders.

This meeting came as a follow up to a first one organised by the Observatory in October 2008 in Brussels, and sets the tone for an ongoing process that will lead to a third meeting in 2010 and other gatherings of this nature on a regular basis.

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