According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, everyone has a role to play in the realization of human rights. Everyone should recognise and respect the role of those who work for the protection of human rights and call on their political representatives to ensure that the rights established in the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders are respected and supported.
Despite this, in countries across the globe, governments, security forces, business interests, armed groups or religious leaders place obstacles in the way of human rights work. The promotion of human rights challenges the existing political, economic or cultural power structures and the social status quo needs to be protected.
However mechanisms exist at state, regional and international levels, which offer protection to those working to protect and promote human rights.