"It has made it easier to put pressure on the countries, she said at the event: The UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration after Ten Years: Protecting Rights in a Changing World”.
The Norwegian Ambassador Morten Wetland opened the event by stating that:
“The human rights defenders are the first line of defence of those fundamental rights and freedoms”.
A human right defender is anyone who works non-violently to protect and promote human rights, and Wetland emphasised that supporting the group has been a priority for Norway for many years.
“Today, regretfully, we need the work of human rights defenders more than ever. We need human rights defenders to speak out for basic rights and to influence government and community thinking, especially democracy suffers and the rule of law is weakened. We need lawyers to defend the marginalised and to challenge impunity. We need community leaders who respond to the disadvantages of others. We need journalists to warn us about abuses, to reveal injustices and bring us stories that challenge us, often at great risk to themselves and their families", said Wetland.
Wetland and Sekkagya shared the floor with human rights defenders from Colombia and Egypt.
Mr Oscar Pedraza is founder of the Colombian group Sons and Daughters for Memory and Against Impunity, and Ms Nora Younis, an internationally recognized Egyptian human rights activist.
The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was adopted by the United Nations on December 9, 1998, and marks a historic achievement in the struggle toward better protection of those at risk for carrying out legitimate human right activities.