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?