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Front Line Defenders hosts numerous public events throughout the calendar year, including an Annual Lecture, Speakers Tours, Film Screenings, HRD Events and Fundraising Events.

Dublin Arts & Human Rights Festival
16 - 25 October

View the full program here

The Annual Front Line Defenders Lecture

in parternship with University College Dublin & Trinity College Dublin

The 2018 #FLDAnnualLecture took place on 6 June 2018 and was delivered by American philosopher and Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, Professor Martha Nussbaum on the topic "Accountability in an Era of Celebrity" Lecture partners included UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life; UCD Centre for Human Rights; UCD School of International of Politics and International Relations; and the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The Annual Front Line Defenders Lecture was established in 2013 to provoke discussion and debate about the range of issues affecting human rights defenders as they work tirelessly to bring about changes and build robust civil societies. The lecture is broadly accessible to a general audience with an interest in philosophy, law, human rights or politics.

FLD Annual Lecture 2018
Professor Martha Nussbaum delivering the 2018 Annual Front Line Defenders Lecture.

2013 - Professor Noam Chomsky - Solidarity And Responsibility To Protect
2014 - Bruce Schneier - Is it Possible to be Safe Online? Human Rights Defenders and the Internet
2015 - Sigrid Rausing - A Hardening Climate - Funding Human Rights in Repressive Societies
2016 - Professor Jan Sokol - Dictatorship to Democracy - The Role of Human Rights Defender
2017 - Hauwa Ibrahim - Mothers Without Borders: Steering Youth Away from Violent Extremism
2018 - Professor Martha Nussbaum - Accountability in an Era of Celebrity

Dublin Human Rights Festival

In October 2017, Front Line Defenders, the National LGBT Federation, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Amnesty International Ireland and the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted the inaugural Dublin Human Rights Festival to celebrate activism and advocacy with panel talks and interactive workshops. The panels included discussions on the risks involved in defending LGBTI rights, women's rights, environmental rights and privacy/digital security rights with human rights defenders from around the world.

There were also interactive workshops by VOCALiSM (advocacy and storytelling for adults), Clowns Without Borders (circus skills for kids), Dabbledoo Music (music education and empathy for children), and Righteous Verse (protest poetry with a panel of poets including Erin Fornoff, Sahar Ali, Felicia Olusanya, Colm Keegan, Oisín McKenna, John Cummins and Raven). There was also an information stall about on volunteering abroad with PBI Ireland, and a stall ran by volunteers living in Direct Provision Our Table (, providing treats and recipes.

Festival Highlights

Film Screenings

Front Line Defenders also hosts ad hoc film screenings to bring the stories of HRDs from around the world to a local audience and to increase awareness of some of the ongoing issues affecting HRDs.

In March 2018, as part of the Spring speaker's tour series, Front Line Defenders supported the Irish theatrical release of A Cambodian Spring - an intimate portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent developments shaping modern-day Cambodia, including human rights defenders Sovath Luon and Tep Vanny. The organisations has also supported screenings of We Are the Giant, a documentary film which presents stories of some of the key HRDs active in Arab Spring protests - including Maryam and Zainab Al-Khawaja, global screening days of other films, including Gold Fever, and has hosted screening events of films featuring HRDs whom the organsation has supported, such as Blood Rising, which premiered at the Jameson Film Festival, and Call Me Kuchu.

Audience at Gold Fever screeningWe Are the Giant screening
Film screenings of Gold Fever (l) and We Are the Giant (r)

Front Line Defenders Award

The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005 to honour the work of a human rights defender who, through non-violent work, is courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.

Nurcan Baysal accepting the 2018 Award
Global Laureate Nurcan Baysal accepting the 2018 award at the Dublin City Hall ceremony on 18 May.

Day of the Imprisoned Writer

The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is celebrated annually on the 15th November and recognises the courage of writers who resist repression of their right to freedom of expression, who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information and who have paid a very high price for their bravery. Each year around this date, Front Line Defenders partners with Irish PEN to mark the date with a public event at the Dublin Book Festival.

Iryna Khalip at the 2015 Day of the Imprisoned Writer event
Iryna Khalip, HRD and journalist from Belarus, reading at the 2014 Day of the Imprisoned Writer event.