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Journal Articles

On this page, we will highlight journal articles that provide critical analysis of key themes from these research projects.


Related Journal Articles

These articles are related to the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk.

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Critical Perspectives on the Security and Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Since the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, there has been considerable effort to recognise and protect the right of individuals, groups and communities to promote and protect their own rights and the rights of others. Over time, a multi-level, multi-actor international protection regime for the rights of human rights defenders has emerged, derived from the international human rights regime. Actors in this goal-driven regime adopt a human security approach, emphasising the importance of having a holistic, multi- dimensional understanding of ‘security’. In this article, we note positive developments in state commitment to the protection of defenders, as well as the debates, tensions and contestation that continue to exist. We emphasise the need for critical appraisal of the construction, function and evolution of this protection regime as well as its multi-scalar social and political effects, both intended and unintended. We highlight three specific areas where critical scholarship is needed to understand the nature of this protection regime, discussing the contributions of authors in this special issue: the definition and use of the term ‘human rights defender’; the effectiveness of protection mechanisms; and the complex relationship between repression, activism and risk. In conclusion, we identify key areas for further research related to human rights defenders, stressing the need for the development of theory and practice related to their ‘risk’, ‘security’ and ‘protection’. 

Reference:

Karen Bennett, Danna Ingleton, Alice M. Nah & James Savage (2015) Critical perspectives on the security and protection of human rights defenders, The International Journal of Human Rights, 19:7, 883-895.


A Research Agenda for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

This Special Issue of the Journal of Human Rights Practice is dedicated to critical reflection on the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs). In this article we consider existing research and knowledge about the protection of HRDs, highlight the contributions of the policy and practice notes in this collection, and put forward current issues and questions on the protection of HRDs for further exploration. Specifically, we highlight eight areas for research: the definition and use of the term ‘human rights defender’; perceptions of risk, security and protection; culture, gender and diversity (with particular emphasis on protecting women human rights defenders); the use of legal and administrative mechanisms for repression; the effectiveness of protection mechanisms; strategies and tactics for protection; fostering enabling environments for the defence of human rights; and the impact of technology and digital security on HRDs. In the last section of this article, we highlight the importance of more collaboration between academics, practitioners and HRDs for the effective evolution of protection mechanisms and practices. We reflect on the merits and challenges of collaborative applied research, suggesting how this can be done effectively.

Reference:

Nah, AM; Bennett, K, Ingleton, D and Savage, J (2013) 'A research agenda for the protection of human rights defenders', Journal of Human Rights Practice, 5(3), pp. 401-420.

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