Hivos International

Why Human Rights Defenders in West Asia?

Human rights defenders are activists, journalists, lawyers, scholars, artists, and bloggers who publicly denounce state and non-state human rights violations in their country and organise peaceful protests against them. Their activities often expose them to harassment, detention, torture and the threat of death. Hivos supports human rights defenders as they are the champions of progress in their society and point the way to positive change.

Hivos supports critical non-violent human rights defenders because they are frontrunners in their own societies, championing progress in their society and pointing the way to positive change. Hivos aims to make sure that such critical voices are not being silenced. We focus on their personal safety and on strengthening their capacity to do their work effectively. The longer term aim is to contribute to a fair, just and inclusive society, with equal opportunities for everyone, men and women alike.

Our capacity building support aims to help activists to achieve what they intend to achieve (be effective), play an active or even pro-active role as drivers of change (be influential) and encourage other citizens to become peacefully active (be a force for peaceful mobilisation). In addition, in the long run, Hivos aims to make sure human rights defenders build a broader constituency in their society and develop themselves into solid organisations.