7B: THOSE WHO DEFEND THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Joe Moses and many others in the Paga Hill community have put their lives on the line to defend their human rights and their homes. It is unclear to what extent the brutal treatment by the PNG police is sanctioned by the Government. For example, the systematic harassment of Joe Moses has included anonymous death threats to the extent that he has been forced to seek refuge, initially in Port Moresby and ﬁnally outside PNG.
Many organisations around the world are mandated to protect human rights defenders. They generally fall within three broad categories:
- Organisations that monitor the situation of human rights defenders and issue international calls for action and urgent appeals. These include Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Front Line Defenders, Protect Defenders EU, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, the World Organisation Against Torture and Defend Defenders.
- Organisations that provide information and technical assistance to help human rights defenders achieve their goals. These include the International Service for Human Rights and Witness(with its afﬁliate Engage Media).
- Organisations that provide ﬁnancial support or physical protection for human rights defenders. These include Front Line Defenders, Protect Defenders EU, Reporters Without Borders, the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, the World Organisation Against Torture, and Defend Defenders.
Look at the web sites of the organisations listed above. Which of these might have provided support for Joe Moses and his advocacy? At what stage of the struggle should each have been approached? What type of intervention should have been sought?
Research a human rights defender in your community who is standing up for the rights of others.