About Defenders’ Days

Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk is a capacity building conference organised by Civil Rights Defenders. To the conference, Civil Rights Defenders welcomes human rights defenders from all over the world to Stockholm to engage in trainings, networking opportunities, workshops and several other activities.

During the conference, Civil Rights Defenders highlights the work and the situation of courageous human rights defenders from all over the world, many of them active in some of the worlds most repressive countries. In 2016, we welcomed over 160 human rights defenders representing a total of 35 countries and four continents to Defenders’ Days.

The participating human rights defenders are invited to take part of an extensive capacity building programme, which includes interactive and practical oriented trainings, workshops, inspirational meetings as well as thought provoking seminars and panel discussions.

Human rights defenders themselves contribute, together with leading experts in security, communication and human rights and representatives from the international human rights community, to the extensive programme of Defenders’ Days.

Human rights defenders often work alone and under pressure in their daily work. By bringing human rights defenders from different regions and contexts together, Civil Rights Defenders aims to strengthen the participants’ identities as human rights defenders by creating a strong “we-feeling”. Participants from previous years conferences have described Defenders’ Days as a fantastic venue for the exchange of knowledge, views, ideas and experiences.

In relation to Defenders’ Days, Civil Rights Defenders recognises the work and achievements of one of our brave colleagues by handing out the annual Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. The Award Ceremony is an event where we recognise and highlight the situation and struggles of human rights defenders at risk from a global perspective.