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The EU has announced its first ever comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Mechanism, an initiative set to become one of Europe’s key tools to assist human rights defenders at high risk, including in remote areas.
The mechanism counts on a budget of €15 million of EU funds until 2018. This is in addition to the continuous support to Human Rights Defenders already provided by the EU, including under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human rights (EIDHR). Since 2007, the EIDHR has allocated €200 million to Human Rights Defenders worldwide.
Through the new mechanism, the EU will provide human rights supporters at risk with:
• Short-term support, including physical protection, legal and medical support, trial and prison monitoring, and urgent advocacy and relocation;
• Medium-term support, including monitoring of their situation, early warning of risks, training on risk prevention and security (including digital security), and international, regional and national advocacy.
• Long-term support including support to national networks, advocacy, lobbying and development of strategies to counter restrictions and sanctions imposed on human rights defenders by states.