AWID and WHRDIC launch a publication on Women Human Rights Defenders

The Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC), which includes many additional ESCR-Net Members, released the publication “Our Right to Safety: Holistic Approach to Protection” in an effort to assess the various mechanisms that have been developed to provide protection to WHRDs at risk, including initiatives developed by national governments, and regional and international human rights bodies.


The variety of risks and violations that WHRDs face requires the adoption of differential support programs and gender-specific protection measures, taking into account the contexts in which women defenders live and work as well as other conditions and identities present in the diversity of WHRDs.

When asked what protection and security meant to her, a women human rights defender explained: “I am a single mother and had to leave my home with my daughter and be relocated. I had to look for a job in my new place of residence and could not take care of my daughter, so I requested the state if they could cover these expenses as part of the relocation scheme.

As Valentina Rosendo Cantú, a Women Rights Defender said, “the state did not understand that this should be part of the protection measures”.

Another defender interviewed for the research also explained that when they were negotiating with the government to cover certain expenses related to education and health under the protection measure, the government responded that the goal of their protection measures was not to eradicate poverty.

More information and publication available to download here.