MP Dirk Van Der Maelen observing elections in Burundi (2010)

Parliamentary network for Human Rights Defenders

Protection International moderates a network consisting of Members in Parliament who are actively involved in the protection of human rights defenders. Its virtual platform, MPforHRD, is the space for exchange and action between Members of Parliament from all the countries who contribute to protect defenders.

The MPforHRD helps Members of Parliament to find the most effective protection actions, supports them in formulating protection policies and coordinates international responses from various Parliaments relating to incidents where the rights of defenders are violated.

MPforHRD facilitates ‘twinning’ – which is direct, privileged contact between a Member of Parliament and human rights defender if that helps the latter to respond to threats. MPforHRD updates Members of Parliament on defenders’ security situations and the existing protection policies in the countries where Protection International is operational.

MPforHRD also signals instances of improvement that concern the diplomatic response to human rights defenders at risk. This allows Members of Parliament to raise the issue with their Government in an informed manner. MPforHRD records strategies and good practice in improving governmental response.