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Speak Up, Stop Discrimination, Human Rights Day 2010

What is a human rights defender?

“Human rights defender is a title each and every one of us can earn. It is not a role that requires a professional qualification. What it depends on is regard for our fellow human beings, an understanding that we are all entitled to the full range of human rights and a commitment to seeing that ideal become a reality.”

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights Defender:
Keikabile Mogodu

Keikabile Mogodu (Botswana) is from the indigenous community, the San. He defends the rights of his community who are marginalized both culturally and economically.

Some human rights defenders are famous, but most are not. They are active in every part of the world, working alone and in groups, in local communities, in national politics and internationally.

They are of all ages and have diverse backgrounds and occupations.

Many are highly qualified people who have special skills as lawyers, journalists, doctors, architects, or teachers: many others have little or no education but they all have in common the fundamental conviction that human rights must be protected and promoted.

Everyone can advance and speak up for human rights no matter who they are or where they are from. Each one of us has the potential to make a difference.

Stories of Human Rights Defenders