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5th Dublin Platform

10 - 12 February 2010

The 5th Dublin Platform brought together over 100 human rights defenders at risk from more than 80 countries to discuss and exchange, to work and relax together.

The HRDs were joined by many representatives from international human rights organisations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay and Micheál Martin TD, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, gave keynote speeches on the first morning. The meeting was also addressed by Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

A panel discussion on the specific risks facing women human rights defenders drew on expert presentations from: Lucha Castro, Centro de Derechos Humanos de Las Mujeres (Mexico); Parvin Ardalan, One Million Signatures Campaign (Iran); Bernadette Ntumba, AMCAV (DRC); and Mary Jane Real, Coordinator of the Women Human Rights Defenders’ International Coalition.

Front Line Defenders and Tactical Technology presented the updated version of ‘Security in a Box’, a package of guidance materials and software resources relating to digital security for human rights defenders. Throughout the conference there were digital security help desks operating and there was also follow-up training on the topic in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish. There was also feedback on Front Line Defenders research project looking at best practice in terms of security and protection which draws on field studies with human rights defenders in Colombia, Indonesia and Zimbabwe.

The participants enjoyed a rich cultural programme with music from an array of musical talents, including the Moran family, the O’Ceannabháin family, Vincent McGrath (HRD, Ireland) and Dom-an Manegdeg (HRD, The Philippines), and the vibrant spirit emerging from the coming together of so many exceptional human rights defenders was vividly captured in the collective Irish dancing and wonderfully chaotic conga line at the finale event in the Old Jameson Distillery.