Statement at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
October 14, 2021


Thank you, Madame Special Rapporteur, for your overview of the stark plight of human rights defenders globally.

Over 300 defenders were murdered worldwide in 2020. Far more were attacked, threatened, and or arrested.

Many human rights defenders even face government reprisals for participating in international dialogues, including at UN bodies.

We strongly condemn such attacks.

In particular, we are appalled by attacks against defenders in Afghanistan, Belarus, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Russia, and Uganda, among others.

The international community must intensify its efforts to protect and enable the work of human rights defenders fully.

Question: What actions can the international community take to protect defenders from attacks and hold perpetrators accountable?