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[Report] Defending in Numbers: Rising Together Against All Odds

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FORUM-ASIA takes great pride in announcing the launch of Defending in Numbers – Rising Together Against All Odds, a comprehensive publication that delves into the significant obstacles faced by human rights advocates in Asia during the years 2021 and 2022. Despite the gradual recovery from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the region experienced unprecedented political changes and turmoil, creating a hostile and volatile environment for those engaged in human rights work. This publication, the fifth edition of Defending in Numbers, draws upon extensive monitoring and documentation of the violations faced by human rights defenders (HRDs) as documented in the Asian HRD Portal.

Through meticulous analysis, Defending in Numbers offers valuable insights into the situation of HRDs in Asia during this period. It identifies recurring patterns of harassment and the various challenges faced by defenders within the region. This publication features emblematic case studies and firsthand information from HRDs who have collaborated with FORUM-ASIA, showcasing the pivotal role played by HRDs in Asia and highlighting the tremendous efforts and risks associated with their work.

During the years 2021 and 2022, human rights defenders (HRDs) in Asia faced a wide range of violations that affected not only themselves but also their families more frequently than before. Within the region, HRDs encountered pervasive challenges such as judicial harassment, intimidation, threats, and physical violence. Additionally, surveillance and vilification were prevalent tactics used against them. These violations created a hostile and difficult environment for HRDs striving to defend human rights.

To download the full report, click here