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Minister of State Sherlock Salutes Human Rights Defenders

Aid Effectiveness, News/feature, Ireland, 2015

Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation, Mr Seán Sherlock T.D., this morning delivered the keynote address at the Front Line Defenders Eighth Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders, held at Dublin Castle. 

The Minister of State praised the work carried out by Human Rights Defenders and highlighted their important role in the promotion and protection of human rights around the world:

“I salute the work of the Irish NGO, Front Line Defenders, which has built a global reputation as a leading Human Rights Defender. The vital work of Front Line Defenders is supported by a longstanding relationship with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade through its Irish Aid programme.” 

Minister Sherlock took the opportunity to renew Ireland’s commitment to the work of Human Rights Defenders and their continued safety:

“I am cognisant of the often dangerous conditions in which Human Rights Defenders work and the worrying global trend of increased threats, harassment and attacks against them.  We must continue to promote and support efforts by States to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment in which Defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity.”  

In his address, Minister of State Sherlock highlighted Ireland’s achievements during its membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council:

“Ireland’s three year membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council will draw to a close at the end of next month. I am proud that Ireland has played a positive and substantive role in the work of the Human Rights Council. We have strived to ensure an increased focus on the most vulnerable in society and those who champion the rights of others. We are committed to building on this experience in the years ahead through continued engagement and leadership in international human rights advocacy.”

 

ENDS 

PRESS OFFICE

4 November 2015

Note for Editors

• The Minister of State’s speech was followed by a video link address from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. Other speakers included the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr Michel Forst, and Mr Arnold Tsunga, African Regional Director for the International Commission of Jurists. 

•There were Human Rights Defenders from over one hundred different countries around the world at the platform, which runs from Wednesday the 4th until Friday the 6th of November.