The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Human Rights Panel Of Experts To Mark 10th Anniversary Of International Human Rights Agreement


A group of international human rights experts and activists will participate in a panel discussion to mark the 10th anniversary of an international agreement to protect human rights defenders.

The panel, "The United Nations Human Rights Defenders Declaration
after 10 Years: Protecting Rights in a Changing World," will begin at
1:15PM on Friday, October 28 at the UN building in conference room 9.

The 1998 adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
was a landmark achievement in the struggle toward better protection of
those at risk for carrying out human rights activities. It was the
first U.N. instrument to recognize the importance and legitimacy of the
work of human rights defenders, as well as their need for better

Among the panelists is the recently appointed Special Rapporteur on
Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, a magistrate from Uganda who
was appointed to this position in March. The Special Rapporteur is
charged with monitoring the situation of human rights defenders around
the world and working with governments, UN bodies and other
international actors as they implement the Declaration.

The discussion, which will moderated by Human Rights First's Andrew
Hudson, will also include panelists: Nora Younis, an internationally
recognized Egyptian human rights activist; Oscar Pedraza, founder of
the Colombian group Sons and Daughters for Memory and Against Impunity;
and Morten Wetland, Norway's Ambassador to the UN.

The event is sponsored by Human Rights First, the International
Service for Human Rights, and the Norwegian Mission to the United
Nations. Media coverage is welcome.

WHAT: "Protecting Rights in a Changing World," apanel of experts will hold a discussion to commemorate the 10th anniversary of theDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders

WHERE: United Nations Conference Room 9

WHEN: Friday, October 28th, 1:15-2:45 p.m.

WHO: Ms. Margaret Sekaggya

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

Ambassador Morten Wetland

Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations

Mr. Oscar Pedraza

Joint founder, Sons and Daughters for Memory and Against Impunity, Colombia

Ms. Nora Younis

New media activist, Egypt

Mr. Andrew Hudson, moderator

Human rights defenders program, Human Rights First

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.