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[Report] Defending in Numbers: A Message of Strength from the Ground 2019 – 2020

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For an interactive summary of this report, please click here.

Defending In Numbers is a biennial report that reviews the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) across Asia as documented by FORUM-ASIA. This particular edition of the report, Defending In Numbers β€” A Message of Strength from the Ground, follows previous editions of Defending In Numbers, and charts FORUM-ASIA’s continuing efforts to document violations facing Human Rights Defenders in Asia, and highlights the risks and challenges that HRDs face, for the period of 2019-2020.

In 2019 and 2020, those working in defence of human rights in Asia faced unprecedented challenges, where existing risks were exacerbated, and new threats emerged. Over two years, governments enacted repressive laws, online harassment became widespread, and the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in violations against human rights defenders (HRDs) who spoke out against governments. The pandemic also created new challenges for HRDs to conduct their work safely.

These are some of the key findings of Defending in Number β€” A Message of Strength from the Ground (DiN), the fourth biennial report by FORUM-ASIA that reports on the situation of HRDs in Asia. Based on monitoring and documentation conducted by FORUM-ASIA via the Asian HRD Portal, DiN identifies regional patterns of violations against HRDs and provides analysis of these trends to illustrate the situation in which HRDs in Asia operate. It also offers case studies that demonstrate the important work HRDs do, as well as the immense risks that such work carries. The publication also incorporates data and information shared by HRDs from the Asia region that FORUM-ASIA has interviewed or worked with, including staff of member and partner organisations of FORUM-ASIA.

For the full report, click here.