The EIDHR annually organises a forum to discuss the concrete implementation of the European Instrument for democracy and human rights. This year, ICORN is invited to contribute at the forum, where EIDHR brings together beneficiary civil society organisations (CSOs) to review their experiences, look at lessons learnt and best practices to improve the EIDHR operational support to CSOs.
At a session dedicated to the support of human rights defenders, ICORN Director Helge Lunde will emphasise the importance of shelter initiatives and give a talk on how ICORN, in close cooperation with its member cities and partners, is able to provide long term temporary shelter to persecuted Human Rights Defenders (HRD). Moroccan writer and journalist Zineb El Rhazoui, current ICORN guest writer in Ljubljana, will share her testimony of the impact a long term shelter can have on a writer’s life and continued fight for freedom of expression and human rights.
In April 2012, the European Commission launched a report on shelter initiatives for Human Rights Defenders in danger: Mapping of temporary shelter initiatives for Human Rights Defenders in danger in and outside the EU.
The objective of the study was to provide an overview of the existing shelter programmes and to identify their strengths, weaknesses, gaps and constraints, to be able to work towards a strengthened comprehensive HRD Mechanism.
"Based on the key findings and recommendations of the study and the inclusion of ICORN in the agenda of this year’s EIDHR Forum, we have reasons to believe that the issue of shelter initiatives for HRDs at risk will be duly implemented in the European Commission’s new Strengthened Comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Mechanism for 2014-2020” says ICORN Director Helge Lunde.