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A vibrant and functioning civil society needs spaces to express itself in a variety of ways and opportunities to unfold. However, shrinking civic spaces are more and more to be traced. Many groups such as human rights activists and artists are affected and the declining of pre-political spaces takes many forms. To assist these activists an increasing amount of protection programmes have been developed in recent years.
This study examines protection programmes from different angles in order to formulate the challenges of these initiatives and to seek solutions for an increasing effectiveness in future programmes.
Martin Jones is a senior lecturer in human rights law at the York Law School and Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) of the University of York. He practiced as a refugee lawyer in Canada and has been involved in the refugee legal aid movement in the Global South, co-founding the largest refugee legal aid organisation in Egypt and co-founding and leading regional and international networks of refugee lawyers. His research and teaching focuses on refugee protection in Asia and the Middle East and the protection of human rights defenders at risk.
He has advised the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, most recently providing research and writing support for his world survey of the situation of human rights defenders in more than 140 countries. With Alice Nah, he has ongoing research on the well-being of human rights defenders at risk, including those within relocation initiatives.
Dr. Alice Nah is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and CAHR. She conducts research on the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk, and on asylum and migration in Asia. She was the principal investigator of an international research project that examines how human rights defenders navigate risks, manage security, and receive protection support in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. She has provided advice to civil society organisations working on the protection of defenders and sits on the board of Protection International (serving as its current Chair).
Alice has been invited by government and intergovernmental bodies to participate in dialogues as an independent expert on forced migration in Asia and has played a leadership role in regional and international civil society organisations and networks on refugee protection.
Patricia Bartley is a research assistant at the CAHR. She works on research projects with Alice Nah and Martin Jones and has supported and managed the Centre's protective fellowship programme for human rights defenders at risk. She is a long term Amnesty International member and forms part of the Amnesty UK's East and Horn Regional team and is a member of its Teacher Advisory Group.
She has worked in Ethiopia and Eritrea as an Education Advisor and prior to that was a foreign languages teacher in Spain and the UK.
Stanley Seiden is a human rights researcher focused on the Middle East and East Asia. His professional work has included projects combating human trafficking, torture and inhumane treatment, and persecution of human rights defenders.
He holds a Master's Degree in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.