Report on human rights defenders operating in conflict and post-conflict situations

30 December 2019
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
To the HRC at its 43rd session, February-March 2020


The report analyses the situation of human rights defenders operating in conflict and post- conflict areas. It addresses their critical contribution in these settings, spells out the applicable legal framework and the attached obligations, and considers current trends with respect to their protection and key rights for them to operate effectively. The report reviews the initiatives of States and other stakeholders, and the United Nations response to date. In the report, the Special Rapporteur highlights the extreme risks to which defenders are exposed, the wide-ranging attempts to silence their work and the persistence of protection gaps and impunity, in spite of positive developments. The Special Rapporteur calls for compliance with the existing legal norms and standards, and suggests ways forward to protect and support defenders striving to operate in these contexts.