We are constantly aware of the risks, attacks, harassment, imprisonment, and even fatal violence on women human rights defenders. This publication of several years ago, has much information that continues to be relevant and significant, and the text plans to be updated. Of interest based on recent abductions of women human rights defenders, is the reality that each situation is unique and that some might benefit from international mass appeal, but others are best handled by diplomatic intervention. Strategies of support should ideally be undertaken by violated Women Human Rights Defenders and their supporters at the local/national level.


Urgent Appeals for support of Women Human Rights Defenders, as calling for specific actions by mobilizing large numbers of individuals and organizations, may garner international pressure and visibility. BUT, mass Urgent Appeals are seen to be most effective in countries that are receptive to the opinions of the international community. A challenge with Urgent Appeals as Bring Back Our Girls in Nigeria – is maintaining an intense and finely strategized follow up and support, which takes organizational and resource capacity. This book offers multiple strategies and references for Mapping and Preliminary Assessment of Urgent Responses for Women Human Rights Defenders at Risk.


Direct Link to Full 49-Page Publication:





This Online Directory of Urgent Responses for WHRDs is based on an initial mapping of "Urgent Responses for Women Human Rights Defenders at Risk”, produced by AWID and the WHRD International Coalition in 2011. In the Online Directory, we outline the diverse responses that exist and, where available, those that are specific to WHRDs. We hope to provide a simple tool for WHRDs to locate the best resources available for their protection, support, and wellness. Efforts are being made to update this directory.

Table of Existing Responses


·         Urgent appeals, international solidarity and communication strategies

·         Advocacy with regional and international mechanisms

·         Awards and fellowships

·         Legal assistance and trial observation

·         Medical assistance, stress management and psychosocial counseling

·         Protective accompaniment; solidarity and monitoring visits

·         Temporary relocation and emergency hotline

·         Grants and relief programs

·         Digital security

·         Training for WHRDs