Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Creating space for wellbeing 8/9

The defenders in this study welcomed more emphasis on self-care, managing emotions, and discussions about wellbeing. They valued discussions about how to develop networks and how to build collective strategies for protection. In security training sessions, they valued sharing their experiences of risk and their self-protection measures with other defenders; they also valued hearing the experiences of others. 
They noted the importance of creating spaces for selfreflection on the amount of risk involved in their work and their level of commitment to the cause.

A human rights defender has to love life. To help others, s/he cannot fall into the trap of scepticism or defeatism. We have to overcome our internal and external limits, and that is only possible if we take care of ourselves. We have to transmit optimism and transformative messages; we can’t be with the victims in order to sow further misery. In general, human rights defenders have an enormous capacity to enjoy each moment in life. Human rights lawyer, Colombia

 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.

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