I carry out research on different issues related to HRDs and HRD protection, especially EU protection, identify relevant stakeholders, conduct interviews in person or by telephone or e-mail, and write reports which summarize findings and make recommendations.  On the basis of findings, I lobby for action to address the problems identified.  Three of my reports were cited in a November 2013 article in the Journal of Human Rights Practice.

For Amnesty International, I assessed the European Union's implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders. This research - for which dozens of diplomats and human rights defenders were interviewed in person in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey - resulted in two reports:  Ensuring Protection? The European Union and Human Rights Defenders (May 2007) and European Union: Rising to the Challenge of Protecting Human Rights Defenders (June 2008).  The reports contained recommendations to the EU and its member states to address the weaknesses identified during the assessment.

In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I monitored the situation of HRDs and looked in detail into specific cases of violations of their rights, visiting areas such as Gaza, Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem and Jerusalem in the Occupied Territories and Haifa and Tel Aviv in Israel.  Fact-finding led to lobbying meetings with local representatives of the European Union and member states.

 

Meeting with the local NGO La Voix des Sans Voix, Kinshasa, DRC

In November 2005, I carried out a week-long mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the Irish organization Front Line to research the support and protection given to local human rights defenders by the European Union. The mission was carried out in collaboration with Amnesty International. I presented the findings and recommendations to improve support to local HRDs to an EU Heads of Mission meeting. A report was published by Front Line and the recommendations formed the basis of lobbying efforts by Amnesty International in 2006.