Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment
HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognized the inherent dignity and human rights of every human being. In adopting the Universal Declaration, countries around the world committed to securing human rights at the national level.
Since then, the international community has recognized that protecting human rights requires the dedicated work of individuals and organizations, as well as commitments by governments. Commonly known as “human rights defenders,” these individuals put their own lives, safety, and security on the line to defend and promote the human rights of others. Recognizing the crucial role that human rights defenders play in protecting the rights of others, international law requires that governments take measures to protect and ensure defenders’ rights.
In 1998, on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (“the Declaration”) with the full support of the U.S. The Declaration recognizes the central role that human rights defenders play in promoting the realization of human rights. It sets forth the rights of human rights defenders to engage in peaceful activities to promote human rights and government obligations to protect human rights defenders.