The human rights defenders at the crossroads of the new century: Fighting for freedom and security in the OSCE area Emmanouil Athanasiou 1 The issue of Human rights defenders represents a big challenge both for governments and international organisations. Despite the strong support of the international community, human rights activists still face serious problems. Not only do they have to adapt to new international realities such as terrorism and globalisation but they also have to confront a large number of laws restricting freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech as well as the growing number of legal proceedings, against NGO s and their members, which paralyze their actions. Today, their role is more crucial than ever: their action in improving human rights contributes in a most significant way to enhancing security and stability, and, in their fight for more democracy, to the promotion of the rule of law and full respect for minority rights. 2 The adoption of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by the United Nations General Assembly during its 85th plenary meeting on
Helsinki Monitor (in 2008 continued as Security and Human Rights) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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