Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting Human Rights Defenders, people working in hostile conditions to uphold any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Front Line Defenders was inspired by the Human Rights Defenders Summit which marked the 50th Anniversary of the UDHR in 1998. Front Line Defenders aims to address some of the needs identified by defenders themselves, including protection, networking, training and access to the thematic and country mechanisms of the UN and other regional bodies.
Front Line Defender’s main focus is on those human rights defenders at risk, either temporarily or permanently because of their work on behalf of their fellow citizens. Front Line Defenders runs a small grants program to provide for the security needs of defenders. Front Line Defenders mobilizes campaigning and lobbying on behalf of defenders at immediate risk. In emergency situations Front Line can facilitate temporary relocation.
Front Line Defenders conducts research and publishes reports on the situation of human rights defenders in specific countries. The organization also develops resource materials and training packages on behalf of human rights defenders as well as facilitating networking and exchange between defenders in different parts of the world. Front Line projects are generally undertaken in partnership with specific national human rights organizations.
Front Line Defenders promotes awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is working to ensure that the principles and standards set out in the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (known as the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders) are known, respected and adhered to worldwide.
Front Line Defenders has charitable status (CHY NO 14029), is independent and impartial.