Young Human Rights Defenders

In 2023, as part of the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, I have been meeting young HRDs from all over the world to hear about their experiences, discuss the opportunities, challenges and restrictions they face, and get their views on what more can be done to protect and empower them in their work.

On 5 June 2023, 40 defenders between the ages of 12 and 32 joined me and our team in Vienna, Austria, for a conference to address the challenges they face and the forms of support they need. It was a moment to take stock of the present and look towards the future, while also marking the 30th Anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme for Action.

Read more about the 2023 Vienna Youth and Child Human Rights Defenders Conference

The situation of young human rights defenders will remain a priority for me over the course of my mandate, and I intend to dedicate an upcoming thematic report to their role, work and the risks they face.

In the coming months, I will also share video interviews recorded with some of the young human rights defenders I had the chance to meet in Vienna.


Read my report to the Human Rights Council about child and youth HRDs (2024)

Video interview: Mariam from Nigeria

Video interview: Osmayra from Mexico

Video interview: Rebecca from Uganda

Video interview: Dhruv from India

Video interview: Andrés from Colombia

Video interview: Zeinab from Kenya

Video interview: Kinja from the Philippines

Photos from the 2023 Vienna Youth and Child Human Rights Defenders Conference