I lobby and advocate for protection of HRDs and I support HRDs to do such advocacy themselves. Major advocacy "targets" have been European Union Institutions (like the EEAS) and Permanent Representations of EU member states in Brussels, foreign ministries of European countries, and EU Delegations and embassies of EU member states in "third countries." Through face-to-face meetings, e-mails and telephone calls, I've urged the EU and EU member states to take action to protect HRDs such as observe trials, make public statements, issue multiple-entry visas, raise cases with the local authorities, and visit HRDs in prison or on-the-job - always in consultation with the HRDs themselves or their representatives.
At a hearing to launch the handbook I wrote for Front Line Defenders at the European Parliament, Brussels, November 2013. Photo: Ekaterina Evdokimova
In March and May 2017, as part of an Amnesty International team, I participated in meetings with EU institutions and EU member states to advocate for support for Russian human rights defenders. In 2014-2016, workshops I designed and facilitated in Kabul, Moscow and Ankara provided local human rights defenders an opportunity to directly lobby the EU and EU member states for protective action. In 2014, together with Palestinian and international HRDs, I met with EU and EU member state representatives in Ramallah to advocate for support and protection of HRDs working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I've also carried out advocacy in the DRC, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
In cooperation with the Dutch Government, I've arranged programmes in The Netherlands, Geneva and Brussels for the winners of the Human Rights Tulip such as for Shadi Sadr in 2009. The programmes are developed in close consultation with the winners in order to meet their specific needs. Interviews with the press, discussions with groups of local NGOs, meetings at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a hearing at the European Parliament, visits to Permanent Representations of EU member states in Brussels, meetings with bodies of the Council of the European Union like the Political and Security Council, meetings with staff of United Nations Special Rapporteurs and of both EU and non-EU countries' Permanent Representations to the UN in Geneva all featured on the agenda.