The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders is the first instrument to specifically acknowledge the need to protect human rights defenders—those who stand up for the rights of persecuted people, including those who challenge sexual or gender norms. But it is hard to speak out against human rights violations while fearing reprisal from government or from the local community. In many parts of the world, those who stand up for sexual rights are at particular risk of retaliation given the stigma that often accompanies sexual or gender nonconformity. We believe that unless human rights defenders receive protection, then progress toward a more just world will be stymied. We work with our local partners throughout the world to support human rights defenders and enhance their safety.

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