The work of all human rights defenders can entail considerable risks and challenges. In many parts of the world, human rights defenders working on contested issues, such as women’s right to be free from violence in the home or the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, are particularly vulnerable because they are often isolated, not only from their families and communities, but also from the wider human rights community.

Economic, social and cultural rights

Campaigning against abuses of economic, social and cultural rights is not new. Local, national and regional human rights organizations have been defending these rights for decades. International organizations working on these rights emerged from the 1980s onwards, including:

• the international Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) in 1986
• the Center on Economic and Social Rights in 1993
• the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) in 1994.

There is now a broad international network of economic, social and cultural rights NGOs (ESCR-NET). Yet scepticism on the nature of these rights persists, particularly on how to campaign against their violation.

Some people within the international human rights movement question to what extent international human rights organizations should work on these issues.

<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE> Human rights for human dignity: A primer on economic, social and cultural rights</a> by Amnesty International
<http://www.escr-net.org/resources/resources_list.htm?cat_id=1463>Resources related to the Promotion and Protection of ESCR</a> from ESCR-net
<http://www.cohre.org> The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions</a>

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people's rights
 HYPERLINK "http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGIOR400042005?open&of=ENG-347" \t "_new" The Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: A primer to working with the United Nations Treaty Monitoring Bodies and the Special Procedures of the UN Commission on Human Rights by Amnesty International
<http://www.iglhrc.org/site/iglhrc/>International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)</a>
<http://www.amnestyusa.org/Our_Issues/LGBT_Human_Rights/page.do?id=1011002&n1=3&n2=36>OUTFront</a> of AI USA
<LINK>International Human Rights References to Human Rights Violations on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity</a> by International Commission of Jurists (downloadable PDF)
<LINK>Inter-American Human Rights System: References to Human Rights Violations on Grounds of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity</a> by International Commission of Jurists (downloadable PDF)
<http://www.hrw.org/lgbt/jurisprudence.htm>Resource Library for International Jurisprudence on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity</a> by Human Rights Watch
<http://yogyakartaprinciples.org>Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity</a>
<http://www.hrw.org/doc/?t=lgbt>Human Rights Watch: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights</a>
<http://www.ilga.org>International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)</a>
<http://www.ilga-europe.org>ILGA Europe</a>
<http://www.mask.org.za>Behind the Mask</a>, a non-profit media organization publishing news on gay and lesbian affairs in Africa

Women's human rights
<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE>To Stop Violence Against Women Respect for Women's Human Rights is Essential</a> by Amnesty International
<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE>Amnesty International defends access to abortion for women at risk</a> Press release, 14 June 2007
<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE>Gender-specific recommendations for the implementation of the European Union Guidelines on human rights defenders</a>
<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE>The Amnesty International Activist Toolkit</a>, toolkits for workshops on stopping violence against women
<LINK TO NEW AMNESTY PAGE>Stop violence against women: How to use international criminal law to campaign for gender-sensitive law reform</a> by Amnesty International
<LINK>A Methodology for Gender-Sensitive Research</a> by Amnesty International and the International Centre for Human Rights (downloadable pdf)
<LINK>Addressing Gender and Women's Rights</a> by Action Aid (downloadable PDF)
<http://www.urgentactionfund.org/index.html>Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights</a>
<http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/actions.php>Women Human Rights Defenders Action Alerts</a>
<http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw>United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women</a>
<http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/index.html>UN Commission on the Status of Women</a>
<http://www.unifem.org/resources/>The Women's Fund at the UN</a> providing free online resources and other information on empowerment and equality

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