The resolution was approved by consensus on 21 March. A total of 70 countries across all regions have signed as cosponsors of the resolution.
The key message of the resolution is that national legislation must be consistent with international human rights law and cannot be misused to restrict the legitimate work and activities of human rights defenders.
The resolution urges states to create a safe and enabling environment in which human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity. “This should be a fundamental objective of any society”, ambassador Steffen Kongstad underlined when introducing the resolution in the Human Rights Council. This contrasts with the situation in many countries where human rights activists are under increasing pressure.
National legislation that restricts the legitimate work and activities of human rights defenders is unacceptable.
The final version of the resolution with the 70 cosponsors listed may be visited here
For further information on the matter please consult:
Press release, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 March 2013:
Interview with Human Rights Counselor, Geir Sjøberg, Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN:
International Service for Human Rights: Landmark resolution adopted:
International Federation for Human Rights: Unprecedented resolution adopted:
Human Rights House Foundation: Campaigning for strong human rights defenders:
Article 19: UN resolution calls for an end to impunity and the protection of dissent:
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies: Adoption of unprecedented resolution: