Canada updates guidelines to support international human rights defenders
Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, has announced the launch of 'Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders'. Informed by civil society organizations, these guidelines offer practical advice for Canadian diplomats working both domestically and internationally on how to support human rights defenders when they seek help.
The 2019 update includes specific guidance for human rights defenders that face discrimination in various contexts. This includes women, LGBTQ individuals, Indigenous peoples, land or environmental defenders, persons with disabilities, youth, defenders of religious or ideological freedom, and journalists, whether in online or digital contexts. The guidance has also been updated to reflect Canada’s feminist foreign policy, acknowledging that human rights defenders may experience multiple and simultaneous forms of discrimination, harassment, and/or marginalization.