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Strengthening the protection and role of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States

Recommendation 2085 (2016)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 28 January 2016 (8th Sitting) (see Doc. 13943, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Ms Mailis Reps). Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 January 2016 (8th Sitting).
1 Referring to its Resolution 2095 (2016) on strengthening the protection and role of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States, the Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
1.1 enhance its dialogue with human rights defenders, in particular by holding regular exchanges of views with them in the framework of the work of its subordinate bodies;
1.2 co-ordinate its work on this subject with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs) and the Assembly and hold regular exchanges of information with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights on reprisals against lawyers;
1.3 establish a platform, similar to that created for journalists, for the protection of human rights defenders;
1.4 publicly and regularly, at least once a year, report to the Assembly on cases of intimidation of human rights defenders co-operating with Council of Europe bodies, and in particular lawyers representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, and representatives of civil society co-operating with the Council of Europe monitoring bodies and the Commissioner for Human Rights;
1.5 reflect on other ways and means of strengthening the protection of human rights defenders against acts of intimidation and reprisals coming from State and non-state actors;
1.6 step up its co-operation on the protection of human rights defenders with other international organisations, in particular the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations;
1.7 consider revising the mandate of the Commissioner for Human Rights, giving him or her powers to deal with individual cases of persecution of human rights defenders in member States, thereby turning that mandate into a fully functional regional mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders in Europe;
1.8 conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation by member States of its Declaration on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 February 2008), while involving human rights NGOs in this process.
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