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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has put out a call for human rights organizations and individuals working with people on the move to provide their experiences in an online questionnaire. The information will be used in a report to be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, is behind the project to gather information on the situation being faced by human rights defenders working with people on the move (migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons). The responses will form the basis of a report to be presented to the 37th meeting United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2018. Questionnaires are available on the website of the initiative for human rights organizations, as well as individuals, to complete and return.

Participatory report on the current situation

The project is being run in conjunction with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report will focus on the experience of human rights defenders, rather than issues being faced by people on the move directly. Although, the website points out that there may be some overlap. “This includes defenders who are themselves people on the move, but also those who support their work," reads the website.

The research aims to "assess the nature of risks and threats faced by defenders working for the rights of ‘people on the move’ around the world" and to "explore effective practices in the protection of defenders." It also aims to "assess the situation of human rights defenders who have themselves been relocated internally and internationally for reasons related to their human rights activities."

Another goal is to "provide a platform for dialogue between stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge across regions".

Identifying challenges and good practice

The questionnaire, which consists of three questions, is open to individuals, civil society organizations, EU member States and international and national organizations engaged in defending the rights of people in movement. It is hoped that information provided will help to "identify current challenges faced by human rights defenders working on the rights of people on the move, as well as good practices and lessons learnt to face these challenges".

The forms can be filled out online. They can also be filled out in Word format in English, French and Spanish and should be emailed to defenders@ohchr.org by November 17 for individuals and civil society organizations, and by November 24 for national and international organizations and member States.

 

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