Human Rights Defender Hub

Human rights defenders risk their lives every day to fight injustice, challenge oppression and make a more democratic world. By defending the rights of their communities they enable change and create fairer and more just societies.

My experiences as a Fellow have been both inspiring and invigorating. Apart from providing the respite that I desperately needed after an intensive and trying time at the frontline, the opportunity has been life-changing. I am excited to share the experience with my colleagues back home.

Human Rights Fellow from Zimbabwe

Human rights defenders play a crucial role in communities around the world, but as a result they face threats and persecution every day. There is a real need to offer protection and specialist training to support defenders, but few places can offer this.

At York we have established a unique Protective Fellowships scheme to support human rights defenders at risk. Under the scheme Fellows come to York for up to six months, gain experience and skills to support their work and return to their communities with new approaches and renewed determination.

Your support will help:

  • Provide vital training, knowledge and skills to those in the front line of the struggle for human rights
  • Create long-term benefits to communities around the world as defenders return to develop new projects and train others
  • Enable a wider understanding of human rights issues around the world.