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Working Paper Series 7: Women Human Rights Defenders – Insights from the Struggle

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Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) have long played a central role in the advancement of human rights. In the fight against impunity and repression, WHRDs have been among one of the most vocal in calling for human rights to be protected and upheld. In recent years, WHRD-led movements have particularly gained traction. Their relentless work calling for justice has, however, exposed them to serious risks and threats.

In this context, the new working paper series of the FORUM-ASIA aims to put WHRD’s perspective at the centre, exploring personal reflections and case studies on how they are experiencing and promoting human rights in an increasingly challenging context.

Ongoing struggles of WHRDs in Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, as well as the coordinated actions of women garment workers advocating for their rights in Cambodia and the testimonies collected by the University of York, showcase the need for stronger support and protection mechanisms, taking into account psychosocial wellbeing. At the same time, reflections on progress made 25 years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, and the advances and developments within the United Nations system indicate that a vibrant civil society is vital for WHRDs’ protection.
For the PDF version of this publication, click here.