Help us protect the Brave today
Today, people across the world are taking enormous risks to stand up for our rights. They could be teachers, students, political opponents, factory workers, journalists, lawyers or so many others. But defending human rights can be a dangerous business.
Thousands of people have been killed or forcibly disappeared simply for speaking out against injustice or standing up to powerful human rights violators, and these attacks are increasing around the world.
What’s especially disturbing is that, if states had taken seriously their responsibility to protect human rights defenders, these tragic endings could have been prevented.
We spoke to families of killed and forcibly disappeared human rights defenders all over the world, and kept hearing the same thing: these people knew their lives were at risk. In many cases their deaths or disappearances had been preceded by a string of previous attacks, which authorities turned a blind eye to or even encouraged.
Many described how victims’ pleas for protection had been repeatedly ignored by the authorities and how the attackers had evaded justice, fuelling a deadly cycle of impunity. Bertha Zuñiga, daughter of Honduran environmental and Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, told Amnesty International that her mother’s work upset many powerful interests, and that an investigation still seems a long way off.
What does it mean to be brave?
Human rights defenders are messengers of social change. Advocates for equality and justice.Dr. Mudawi, Sudan
A Supportfor a world free of cruelty and pain. And this needs to be recognisedby all of us.
Brave is standing up against injustice. We’ll stand up, we’ll speak.Tep Vanny Cambodia
If you are different you might face violence or discrimination.Sakris Kupila, Finland
Brave is making your voice heard. Brave is caring for others.Azza Suliman, Egypt
One of the most sacred missions you can have in life is defending and protecting the rights of others.Sheikh Maytham al-SalmanBahrain
Brave is a witness. I had to blow the whistle, I had to say something and I did.Edward Snowden, USA
I was beaten, kicked cursed.Unknown
Brave is an ordinary person with a heart.Unknown
Everybody can be great because everybody can serve you only need a heart full of grace.Unknown
Thank you to all my wonderful teachers who inspired me to believe in myself and be brave.Unknown