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The German Government actively supports the work of human rights defenders around the world. In particular it seeks to promote better protection for human rights defenders and comprehensive recognition that, from a human rights standpoint, their activities make a major contribution to societal development in their home countries.
Without their courage and commitment there could be no progress in the struggle to ensure universal respect for human rights. Supporting the work of human rights defenders is therefore one of the Federal Foreign Office’s priorities for project funding in the field of human rights.
The EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders are intended to enhance on a sustained basis the Union’s efforts vis‑à‑vis third countries to ensure support and protection for human rights defenders.
Germany strongly endorses the Guidelines, which envisage that the missions of EU member states abroad should e.g. develop and foster systematic contacts with human rights defenders, report regularly on the situation of human rights defenders in their host countries and support them by taking concrete action on the ground, and should promote networks in this field as well as generally ensure that the situation of human rights defenders feeds into all aspects of EU foreign policy (“mainstreaming”).
European Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders
"Support for human rights defenders is already a long established element of the European Union’s human rights external relations policy. The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide practical suggestions for enhancing EU action in relation to this issue."