HRDiplomacy designs and leads workshops bringing together local human rights defenders and diplomats from the EU and EU and like-minded countries aimed at increasing diplomats' efforts to support and protect HRDs and to create an enabling environment for their work.  The workshops aim to contribute to the implementation of the policy commitments of the EU and individual countries to protect HRDs worldwide.  HRDs formulate recommendations and discuss these with diplomats.  Examples of this work include:

  • In November 2022, in Belgrade, for Amnesty International:  facilitating a two-day workshop entitled "EU advocacy workshop for civil society organizations" involving 18 Serbian HRDs and eight diplomats representing the EU and EU member states.
  • From September 2015 - March 2020, in Moscow, for Amnesty International:  designing, facilitating and reporting on six workshops in Russia aimed at increasing protection of Russian HRDs by the EU, EU member states and like-minded countries.  The outcomes of the workshops contributed to EU guidelines for supporting Russian HRDs and to increased practical action such as trial monitoring, public statements and issuing of visas.  The EU mentioned the 2018 workshop in it's Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World for that year where it stated that the "workshop provided an excellent opportunity for networking and learning about each other's needs."
  • In November 2015, in Ankara, for Amnesty International:  facilitating a workshop bringing diplomats and Turkish HRDs together.  The outcomes contributed to the EU's local strategy to protect and defend human rights defenders.
  • In October 2014, for Amnesty International UK:  designing and facilitating a two-day workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan, bringing together a group of nine Afghan human rights defenders (mostly women) and 11 EU and other diplomatic missions.  The workshop provided key inputs for the EU’s new strategy to protect local HRDs.  The EU said that the workshop was facilitated "in a very nice manner that was exactly right for the different participants" and that it was “a great success.”
  • In February 2014, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories:  In cooperation with the local NGO "Youth Against Settlements," facilitating a workshop in Hebron in which Palestinian and international HRDs formulated recommendations for diplomats from the EU and EU member states and then supporting the HRDs to present their recommendations to EU diplomats at a meeting in Ramallah.  The work was funded by Cordaid.

On the basis of these experiences, I wrote a handbook for Amnesty International on how to organize such HRD-diplomat workshops.


Serbian human rights defenders and EU diplomats who participated in the "EU Advocacy Workshop for Civil Society Organizations" which I facilitated in Belgrade in November 2022.