Malawi is preparing to celebrate International Human Rights Defenders Day (IHRDD) on December 9th, an annual event honoring those who stand for human rights. This year is particularly significant, marking the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
IHRDD coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), emphasizing equality, freedom, and justice, central to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Despite perceptions of a friendly environment for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), evidence shows state interference, including arrests, harassment, attacks, legal constraints, and surveillance. Recent efforts to limit civic space and media freedom have compounded challenges.
IHRDD provides a platform for various stakeholders, including government, activists, civil society, the UN, and the media, to celebrate HRDs and address their challenges.
The inaugural Human Rights Defenders Award on December 9th, 2022, will honor exceptional HRDs across four categories, recognizing their courage, resilience, innovation, and impact.
Organized by Youth and Society (YAS), Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), the 2023 IHRDD and Human Rights Defenders Award aim to promote solidarity and recognition for HRDs.
Stakeholders, including the UN, international missions, private sector, NGOs, and individuals, are invited to support the event, contributing to the recognition and protection of HRDs and the advancement of justice and freedom in Malawi.