DEFEND INTERNATIONAL (Dl) is an independent, voluntary, non governmental organ which has as its main objective the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It forms a worldwide community of DI Defenders, supporters, stakeholders, donors, friends, and subscribers with the greatest number in the Middle East and North Africa region.
We are committed to act with impartiality, integrity, honesty and objectivity in all matters related to human rights, including the right to health.
Our mission is to respond to grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law; monitor the implementation of preventive measures that are designed to end impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes; conduct medical research that may either directly or indirectly improve the health standard of communities; and to promote peace and democracy through cultural relations and diplomacy.
What does Defend International do?
Defend International aims to combat human rights violations by:
- Spreading awareness among policymakers, the public and the media;
- Researching, mobilising the public opinion and disseminating knowledge about the areas listed in the above mission;
- Lobbying governments and intergovernmental organisations to implement conventions, protocols and other measures to guarantee the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – rights like liberty, security, resistance to oppression, and the right to health;
- Promoting the work of NGOs to prevent human rights abuses through national and local legislation, regional agreements, research and training opportunities;
- Campaigning for change, including pro-human rights campaigns, calling for the release of prisoners and/or calling for reforms in laws and practices;
- Spreading a culture based on respect for human rights, dialogue, non-violence and democracy; democracy is important because democracies have a better record of upholding the rule of law and giving human rights a greater protection;
- Inculcating a culture of peace, equality and solidarity in the minds of individuals;
- Protecting civilians against all forms of violence and other human rights violations during armed conflict;
- Building up the capacity of civil society organisations by enabling them to play a more active role in post-conflict negotiations and peace-building processes, both nationally and globally;
- Promoting disarmament to support efforts aimed at enhancing peace and reconciliation in areas of conflict,
- Promoting mutual understanding and better interaction between cultures and nations;
- Reviewing healthcare policies and human rights legislation;
- Fostering collaborative advocacy efforts, and providing a forum for NGOs to share experiences and build skills;
- Investigating the decisions taken in the context of international security;
- Promoting the voices of victims at the regional and international levels;
- Developing necessary measures to end modern-day slavery and resist violence against women and children, including domestic violence;
- Acting to ensure the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Arms Trade Treaty, the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as various UN resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (e.g., 1325 and 1820); and
- Establishing local, regional and sub-regional human right networks.
How does Defend International work?
Defend International is a global non governmental organ with highly diverse participants in different fields of work, acting to liberate individuals from suffering, injustice and gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
The structure of Defend International is based on national, sub-regional and regional networks of individuals and civil society organisations, which ensure that DI is driven by the needs and priorities of its members and supporters. We work throughout Middle East, Northern Africa and the rest of the world to ensure respect for human rights and create more open societies. We encourage the implementation of economic and political policies that are conceptually sound and empirically effective.
DI Defenders act to improve access to human rights worldwide, especially in the MENA region. Our campaigning activities include urgent actions, letter-writing and participation in high-profile events, usually with key partners and stakeholders. DI places a high priority on the ratification of human rights instruments and international agreements.
We additionally call for the release of prisoners of conscience, and the protection of victims and survivors of torture, as well as civil society activists. We pay special attention to the rights of human rights defenders and work on behalf of refugees and victims of armed conflicts and slavery.