The rights protected in the Declaration and analyzed throughout the 10 chapters of the commentary are: the right to be protected, the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, the right to access and communicate with international bodies, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to protest, the right to develop and discuss new human rights ideas, the right to an effective remedy, and the right to access funding.
Many years passed since the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders but it is still a relatively unknown resource for many actors involved in defending the defenders, among them also the journalists covering the situation of human rights defenders around the world.
This commentary pays particular attention to the specifics of the situation of women human rights defenders and the particular challenges they face, in accordance with the Special Rapporteur's mandate to integrate a gender perspective throughout her work. Both mandate holders , Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya (since 2008) and Hina Jilani (2000-2008), have reiterated on several occasions that women defenders are more at risk of suffering certain forms of violence and other violations, prejudice, exclusion, and repudiation than their male counterparts.
The term women human rights defenders in this commentary refers to women who, individually or in association with others, act to promote or protect human rights, including women‘s rights. Because of the similarities of the situations that they face, the term women human rights defenders can also refer to male human rights defenders working on women‘s rights as well as on gender issues more generally.