Front Line Defenders, in partnership with a network of more than 20 national and international organisations, is currently working on the development of an International Human Rights Defenders Memorial, which will document the cases of all those human rights defenders killed since the adoption of the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders in 1998. Since that day, when the international community agreed to make protection for rights defenders a key priority, an estimated 3,500 have been murdered.
Veronica Vidal from AWID delivered the following speech on behalf of the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras) at the launch of the HRD Memorial Project in Dublin on 24 November 2016.
It is a great honour and privilege to be here with you all today representing The Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras).
We are an alliance of 6 organizations (AWID, La Colectiva Feminista, JASS, FCAM, Consorcio Oaxaca, UDEFEGUA) and 5 national WHRDs networks contributing to the development and implementation of a holistic protection model with a gender perspective for women working for human rights in several social movements in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
IM-Defensoras feels also very proud to have the opportunity in contributing to the HRD Memorial Project that Front Line Defenders had the vision to develop and jointly create with many of us here today.
Killings and impunity for Human Rights Defenders, being women, trans, intersex people and men are a sad and gloomy reality not only in Mesoamerica but also across the globe. Standing in solidarity and being the voice for those who are no longer with us and who had fought for human rights and justice for all is our responsibility. We stand here today exercising our right to speak out and demand justice for those who have been silenced.