EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform

Background, Objectives and Members of the Platform

We are a global platform of national, regional and international organizations involved in programmes for the temporary relocation of human rights defenders at risk.  Our activities are diverse and include identifying HRDs in need of relocation through our close work with them, providing temporary shelter within the same country, hosting HRDs in countries in their region or outside it, providing services or capacity-building opportunities to relocated HRDs, and contributing to the protection of HRDs on the ground. 

This website is a source of information for actors interested in knowing more about HRDs, temporary relocation, and getting involved in temporary relocation programmes.  It is also a portal for members of the platform.


The Platform is an initiative of the European Commission.  According to the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, EU member states should provide "measures for swift assistance and protection to human rights defenders in danger in third countries, such as, where appropriate, issuing emergency visas and facilitating temporary shelter in the EU member states."  In 2011, the European Commission had a study carried out to "map" or make an inventory of existing programmes of temporary relocation of HRDs.  One of the main conclusions of the study was that existing initiatives would benefit from greater coordination and collaboration.  This finding led the European Commission to sponsor the development of the platform.


The main objective of the Platform is to facilitate coordination and cooperation among actors involved in the temporary relocation of HRDs.  These actors may be based in Europe or in countries or regions where HRDs are at risk.  This is achieved through promoting contact and exchange among members.  Through the sharing of experience among members, the quantity and quality of programmes and services can be increase, for the benefit and safefy of HRDs at risk.    

Project Management

The development and coordination of the platform is currently in the hands of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism.  The coordinator of the Platform is Guus van Zwoll; gvanzwoll [at]

Current Members

Membership to the platform is diverse. Its members include universities, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, cities and municipalities and ministries of foreign affairs.  This responds to the diversity of the needs involved in a multifacetic approach to support for the temporary relocation of human rights defenders at risk.  Such multidimensional approach requires the best complementarity and coordination among protection actors.

Current member include: