Eamon Gilmore, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, spoke at the 6th Dublin Platform. Mr. Gilmore explained why the Government of Ireland supports Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Defenders around the world.
Free to Talk, Platform for Action
130 Defenders, 85 countries, 130,000 Voices
2011 Dublin Platform
On the 14th – 16th of September 2011 over 100 Human Rights Defenders met at Dublin Castle for the Sixth Dublin Platform 2011. A biannual event held by Front Line Defenders, this event provides a truly unique opportunity for human rights defenders at-risk, from every corner of the world, to come together to share experiences, learn from one another, discuss relevant issues and engage with decision makers from governmental and intergovernmental bodies. It is also a space where human rights defenders can speak openly and freely without fear of intimidation or arrest and a chance for them to escape from the relentless pressures under which they work in their everyday lives.
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Special extra LGBT event with GLEN.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual Human Rights Defenders from around the world, including Armenia, Guyana, Thailand, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Albania were able to meet Irish activists and press at a special event as part of the Dublin Platform. Most Human Rights Defenders cannot speak openly about their activities for fear of being targeted, so this was a unique opportunity to meet those who are working to change the world. LGBT human rights defenders are doubly discriminated against. They are targeted because of who they are as well as what they do. They are discriminated against, attacked and sometimes killed. David Kato, a previous Dublin Platform participant, was brutally murdered in his home in Uganda in January this year.
Who are Front Line Defenders?
The 2011 Platform was organised by Front Line Defenders an International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk, people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It aims to address the protection needs identified by defenders themselves. Front Line Defenders seeks to provide rapid and practical support to at-risk human rights defenders, including through:
- international advocacy on behalf of human rights defenders at immediate risk;
- grants to pay for the practical security needs of human rights defenders;
- training and resource materials on security and protection, including digital security;
- rest and respite, including the Front Line Fellowship;
- opportunities for networking and exchange between human rights defenders, including at the biennial Dublin Platform;
- the annual Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk;
- an emergency 24 hour phone line for human rights defenders operating in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian
In emergency situations Front Line Defenders can facilitate temporary relocation of human rights defenders. Front Line Defenders promotes strengthened international and regional measures to protect human rights defenders including through support for the work of the UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders. Front Line Defenders seeks to promote respect for the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Front Line Defenders has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.