When all the human rights are fulfilled for every person, Diakonia believes that conditions for dignified lives are created. That is why the promotion and protection of human rights are at the core of all of Diakonia’s work.
When international conventions and national legislation are linked to rights holders’ daily lives, they become powerful tools for promoting human rights. Where national judicial systems are too weak or unwilling to fulfil their duties, regional and international institutions become important complements.
That is why many of our partners work intensively with shadow reporting to the United Nations when their country has to present the national reports, for example on women’s rights or the Universal Periodic Review, in order to give also civil society’s views on the topic. The Sustainable Development Goals are increasingly used as another tool for the defence of human rights.
Empowering rights holders
The empowerment of rights holders is crucial when promoting human rights and achieving sustainable change. People mobilize when they articulate own demands that increase justice and improve living conditions with the fulfilment of human rights.
Protecting defenders of human rights
With the shrinking and closing democratic space present in almost all the countries where Diakonia work, the first thing to promote is the right to defend human rights.
The human rights defenders are being increasingly attacked, harassed and threatened. Hundreds of them are assassinated every year. They are accused of false crimes and convicted to years in prison. Women are threatened with sexual violence or that their families will be attacked. Indigenous peoples are evicted from their historic territories.
Therefore, Diakonia works to protect the human rights defenders, and the right to defend human rights through long-term support to their organisations; including national and international advocacy work, strategic litigation, awareness raising campaigns and networking; and emergency protection funds.