EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders – European Implementation Assessment

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Series Details PE 730.345
Publication Date August 2022
ISBN 978-92-846-9644-4
EC QA-08-22-245-EN-N
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This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, which constitute the policy framework and provide the operational means for protecting human rights activists in third countries.

The first part of the study, written internally, provides an institutional perspective of the implementation of the Guidelines. It assesses the development of the EU framework to support human rights defenders, including EU Member States' emergency measures, and evaluates the coordination of such efforts. It also examines the European Parliament's support for human rights defenders and considers its impact on the EU’s overall work on defender protection.

The second part of the study, which was outsourced, evaluates the implementation of the Guidelines from a bottom-up perspective. It provides an evidence-based analysis of how EU missions apply the Guidelines in countries where rights and freedoms are particularly challenged for human rights defenders, and assesses when and why measures for have not been applied.

The study also addresses ways in which implementation gaps can be bridged and recommends possible measures and action that could be taken to ensure the protection of human rights defenders.

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