On 14 October 2021, the United Kingdom will present a cross-regional joint statement on reprisals during the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
By joining the statement, you will affirm your commitment to the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and association; show solidarity with human rights defenders, civil society actors and victims of violations worldwide; demonstrate your commitment to dialogue, cooperation and the institutional integrity of the UN; and contribute to ensuring that UN bodies and processes are informed by, and respond effectively to, the needs of communities on the ground.
The joint statement condemns any act of intimidation or reprisal, online or offline, against individuals and groups who cooperate, seek to cooperate, or have cooperated with the UN. Furthermore, it calls on States to prioritise and support the meaningful participation of civil society with the UN and urges States to cooperate with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights in fulfilling her mandate to address reprisals and ensure a coordinated UN response. Importantly, the joint statement highlights existing challenges for civic space that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, including: increased surveillance and hacking; the rise of online violence, particularly against women and girls; and the use of emergency measures to unduly restrict or hinder access and communication with the UN.
Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights at the community, national, regional and international levels, to exercise freedoms of expression, association and to communicate with intergovernmental organisations.