Human Rights Council 49th session: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council 49th Session: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders | 11-03-2022

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Thank you Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns with the EU statement.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report and recommendations on the situation of human rights defenders working against corruption. We are a staunch supporter of human rights defenders and are committed to contributing to a safe and enabling environment, both online and offline.

The role of human rights defenders, including journalists, working against corruption is fundamental to safeguard democratic institutions and development, as well as to hold those in power accountable for their actions. Access to information is crucial to effectively report on, and combat corruption.

We echo your concerns about the grave dangers human rights defenders are facing, including those working against corruption. We are particularly concerned about the situation of women human rights defenders. As you mention in your report, they are often the target of gendered threats, including sexual assault, rape, harassment and killings. These multi-layered threats as a result of their intersecting vulnerabilities, requires appropriate mechanisms that address their specific needs.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

You mention that impunity with regards to attacks against human rights defenders is widespread. Without accountability, these attacks will never cease. How can the international community effectively support efforts to hold perpetrators of these threats and attacks to account? 

Thank you.