Australian Statement for the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, 3 March 2021
Human Rights Council – 46th session
Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
3 March 2021
Australia thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report on the connections between death threats, intimidation, and the killing of human rights defenders.
Australia is a steadfast supporter of human rights defenders and their efforts to ensure accountability for human rights abuses and violations. Their work is invaluable to States and international mechanisms committed to ensuring human rights are enjoyed by all.
We are gravely concerned by the ongoing escalation of reprisals against defenders around the globe and the report’s findings regarding the targeting of defenders through stigmatization, criminalization, defamation campaigns including those instigated or allowed by States and public officials, in the media and online. These actions create environments for arbitrary detention, torture and ultimately the killing of human rights defenders.
We are particularly disturbed by the persecution of defenders of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. We unreservedly condemn these abuses and violations in all situations and call states to bring the perpetrators to account.
We note the recommendation to mainstream support for LGBTI defenders, and welcome further advice on how States can prevent their stigmatisation and intimidation?