Every several years, Front Line Defenders develops a new strategic plan, after carefully consulting with human rights defenders, other key stakeholders and organisations working with human rights defenders, as well as assessing the impact of its programmes and resources of support.
HRDs continue to lead creative and successful movements. As a result, they face an increasing backlash for their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.
A complex and unprecedented landscape for human rights defence lies ahead with many challenges, including a sustained, well-resourced and concerted repressive strategy by authoritarian governments to target HRDs, a weak defence of human rights from some democratic governments, and the further erosion of human rights protections in some of those countries. Civic space restrictions, conflict and crises, climate change, technological threats, rising authoritarianism and anti-gender policies will all significantly affect the work, safety and well-being of human rights defenders. Covid-19 has had and will continue to have economic, social, organisational, psychosocial and physical impacts on defenders.
Opportunities also present themselves with growing mobilisation and increased solidarity in opposition to issues such as kleptocracy, inequality, anti-gender policies, and climate change. New networks and initiatives are being formed across sectors and across issues e.g. antiwar feminist movements. There is a growing number of local and regional initiatives focused on protection. There are new opportunities to engage with and influence new and emerging actors and protection mechanisms/policies through advocacy, policy and operational work. There is also increased acknowledgement and growing understanding of digital protection risks and an acceptance of well-being as a critical part of holistic security.
This Strategic Plan will be delivered over five years in a way that can be adapted to an ever-evolving and changing external context.