UN Human Rights Council Holds First-Ever Discussion on Women Human Rights Defenders

On June 26, the United Nations Human Rights Council hosted an unprecedented panel discussion on women human rights defenders.

Women human rights defenders especially at risk for extreme violence that is targeted at them because of the very fact that they are women. Gender-specific violence includes verbal abuse based on gender, sexual abuse, and rape.

The panel recommended that states take specific measures to protect women human rights defenders. States should ensure the protection of women human rights defenders and ensure compliance with the existing national and international norms; investigate and prosecute people responsible for violence against women human rights defenders; and give visibility to women defenders.

International Service for Human Rights, a human rights non-governmental organization attending the discussion, praised the panel for being “an important piece in a much broader Human Rights Council commitment to integrating a gender perspective in the work of the UN”.


“Human Rights Council focuses on women human rights defenders in Second half of Annual discussion on women's human rights”, Human Rights Council, 26 June 2012.

“First-ever Council panel on women human rights defenders”, International Service for Human Rights, 27 June 2012.

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