To mark the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights would like to shed light on the work of brave human rights defenders and colleagues that fight for justice.
In Ukraine, human rights are violated on a grand scale as Russia's war of aggression ignores international law and rules of warfare with devastating consequences for those affected. Therefore, the work of human rights defenders reporting and documenting the war is crucial.
- We condemn the violence and aggressive actions that put our colleagues within the human rights community across Ukraine at risk. The work they do documenting human rights violations during the war is vital, says Executive Director of the Rafto Foundation Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt.
The war harms human rights work in several countries. In both Russia and Belarus civic space shrinks as activists are silenced through arrests for protesting and attacks on independent journalists who write about the war.
- It is crucial that the international community now support everyone who work to protect human rights during the ongoing war, whether it is in Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, says Kobbeltvedt.
The Rafto Foundation for Human Rights calls for support to organizations providing practical and legal assistance to people living in the war zone in Ukraine, or who need assistance because they’re persecuted by the authorities in Russia or Belarus. Their important work includes documentation and reporting on human rights abuses taking place in the warfare, protests the war, legal aid and counseling for people who are persecuted because of their participation in protests, and contributions to the protection of human rights defenders and their families.
We stand with Ukraine and in solidarity with the human rights defenders who work tirelessly to protect the democracy and human rights that unite us all.