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20th EU NGO Human Rights Forum: "Defending universality – Making Human Rights a

Reality", Brussels 20-22 November 2018.

The EU NGO Human Rights Forum is an annual event co-organised by the European External
Action Service (EEAS) through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights
(EIDHR) and the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) composed of 53 NGOs
working on human rights, democracy and peacebuilding.

FIDH and its member organisations are active

participants to the forum, including as keynote
speakers, and this year was no exception with 18
member organisations representing Botswana, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania,
Afghanistan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Tibet, Russia,
Ecuador, Honduras, Algeria, Bahrain, the Gulf
Region, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey.

This year’s forum takes place in a special context as

2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the 25th anniversary
of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
as well as the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders and the Rome Statute.

The aim of the forum is to “identify how to increase

the impact and coherence of EU external action on
human rights and democracy in a more connected, contested and challenging global
environment, and to discuss the way forward on how we can best achieve our objectives of
promoting and protecting human rights, in conjunction with civil society.” This interactive
format enables participants to brainstorm on the needs for the future EU Action plan on
Human rights and Democracy and essentially opens a space for discussion and exchanges
between key grassroots human rights defenders and the European External Action Service
regarding the current challenges they face.

A report by HRDN summarising the sessions and putting forth the conclusions and
recommendations will be published following the forum.

Read the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) report following the 19th EU NGO

This report aims to capture the discussions, analysis and recommendations from the 2017
Human Rights Forum on ‘Human Rights under threat: exploring new approaches in a
challenging global context’, co-organised by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and
the Brussels-based Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN).

The forum took place at a critical moment when international norms and standards are being
challenged and many governments, who themselves signed up to the treaties, simply refuse
to comply with obligations under international law – or go a step further creating a narrative
against the human rights system. The report gives a sense of the diverse discussions and aims
to provide a reference point for follow-up in 2018.

Download the report here

The Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) is an informal grouping of NGOs operating
at the EU level in the broader areas of human rights, democracy and peace.

HRDN’s vision is that human rights and democracy are placed at the heart of the EU’s internal
and external policy agenda. This vision should manifest itself in an EU which effectively protects
human rights at home and is a force for positive change in the world.

In pursuit of this vision, HRDN aims to influence EU and EU Member States’ human rights
policies and the programming of their funding instruments to promote democracy, human
rights and peace.