Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
And thank you, Special Rapporteur, for your insightful overview of the critical work of human rights defenders (HRDs).
We commend the courage and dedication of human rights defenders around the world, who often work in incredibly difficult and dangerous circumstances. We stand with them in their efforts to create a better world for all.
As we mark the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on HRDs, the United States reaffirms our commitment to elevating their important work in all our diplomatic engagements. We also recognize the vital role of civil society in promoting and protecting human rights, and we stand with their efforts to advance peace, justice, and human dignity.
The U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Defender Awards are just one example of our commitment to recognizing individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and courage in defending human rights. We are also committed to providing support to HRDs around the world, including through our foreign assistance programs.
We share the Special Rapporteur’s ongoing concern about the numerous HRDs who are at risk of being prosecuted on trumped up charges due to their work, and the need to address ongoing reprisals and impunity for those who target HRDs.
We urge the international community to join us in publicly promoting the work of HRDs, to commit to work toward the release of all HRDs imprisoned for exercising their human rights, and to honor their obligations and commitments to protect and support those who defend human rights.
I thank you.