2019 Dublin Platform Report
The 2019 Dublin Platform was held from 2 to 4 October in Dublin Castle and convened 114 human rights defenders (HRDs) from 90 countries, along with a wide range of other international guests. This remarkable gathering provides HRDs with an opportunity to amplify their voices internationally and to major stakeholders in the human rights field and learn effective strategies to help protect them in their work.
International guests included Simon Coveney TD, Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland; Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative on Human Rights; Ramanie Kunanayagam, member of the Inspection Panel of the World Bank and John Knox, former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, each spoke at plenary sessions and participated in question and answer sessions with HRDs. Additionally, representatives of international organisations, donors and other diplomats and officials were present throughout the Platform to learn from and dialogue with the HRDs.
HRDs featured on panel discussions over the three days, focusing on protection in times of elections and political crises; gendered aspects of smear campaigns, hate speech and defamation against women HRDs; innovation in collective approaches to holistic protection; and corruption as a driver of insecurity. A series of regional-based working groups allowed HRDs to focus on key issues, including democratic deficits, impunity, gender discrimination, solidarity, fundraising, development, corruption, LGBTI+ issues, smear campaigns and disinformation, and physical and sexual violence, among others.
HRDs shared their experiences by giving individual testimonies, offering each to present personal reflections on their work, challenges, struggles and successes to a room full of fellow activists, all who are uniquely qualified to empathize and offer solidarity and support.
FLD’s team of digital security experts was available to provide one-to-one support to HRDs in digital clinics, while one-to-one physical security clinics were also available to review physical and personal security strategies for the home, office, while travelling, or any other topic. A number of safe spaces and psychological wellbeing clinics were also provided.