COVID-19 Special Coverage
UN rights expert: states must protect migrants’ rights defenders
UN rights expert: states must protect migrants’ rights defenders

A UN rights expert told [press release] the Human Rights Council that states are obligated to protect human rights defenders who assist hundreds of thousands of people who are on the move each year.

The term “people on the move” refers to refugees, displaced people and asylum-seekers, as well as other groups. The expert stated that defenders of these people are currently facing unprecedented threats and restrictions to their work which the States are failing to address.

The expert addressed [report, PDF] these issues in his latest report, saying that his aim with this report was to highlight the issues of defenders. According to the report, defenders of people on the move often face the same vulnerabilities of the people who they are defending. This is because these defenders are often on the move themselves.

The report urges states to protect those who are actively defending the rights of people on the move. It lays out specific recommendations for achieving this purpose, such as publicly recognizing the importance of the defenders and ensuring that perpetrators of crimes against these people are held accountable for their actions.