PEOPLE IN NEED ASSISTS HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AT RISKPublished: Nov 14, 2018 Reading time: 2 minutes
In the past four years, People in Need has assisted more than 400 human rights defenders and their families to get out of an imminent threat to their lives and their health.
In People in Need, we believe that people all around the world deserve the right to lead their lives freely, and to enjoy rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is why, since the beginnings of organization’s activities, we support human rights defenders in countries with repressive regimes. Human rights defenders tend to be the most common target of defamatory campaigns, harassment and persecution, they are being silenced and frequently imprisoned and tortured.
In one of our projects, we focused on providing rapid support to those people living in non-democratic countries that found themselves in imminent danger and needed immediate assistance. In the past four years, 425 persons were able to escape dangerous circumstances due to our assistance. They included human rights defenders, dissidents, students, journalists, writers, bloggers, lawyers, LGBT activists and their closest families in 15 different countries; 54% of the beneficiaries were men, 46% women.
What kind of assistance do we provide to these people? In most cases it is necessary to quickly get them to safety, after which we provide them with humanitarian, medical and legal aid. Fast assistance is crucial especially in countries such as Azerbaijan, Egypt and Russia, where, over the past few years, we are observing harsh and systematic persecution of civil society. Among others, aid was also provided to individuals in Burma/Myanmar, Belarus, Cuba, Ukrainian Crimea and Venezuela.
Direct assistance in urgent cases is irreplaceable precisely for its flexibility and ability for a quick response to human rights defenders at risk; People in Need will continue providing it in the future, while simultaneously establishing cooperation with other non-governmental human rights organizations that are able to co-finance some of the cases.