MWMN member Hafida Benchehida (Algeria) attended the 12th Human Rights Defenders Forum organized by the Carter Center. This year, the forum focused on “Building Solidarity toward Equality for All” and was attended by dozens of activists, peacemakers, and community leaders from 28 countries.

The topics of the event included: global protection for activists, challenges for women defenders and peacemakers, and the importance of mutually supporting civil, economic, political, and social rights.

Senator Benchehida shared her experience, together with four other courageous women and men on the front lines of the fight for human rights. The other experts were:

  • Mohna Ansari, a journalist-turned-attorney and a member of Nepal’s Human Rights Commission. Much of her work involves women’s rights, representation, and protection.
  • Ijam Alaz Augustine, minister for human rights and minorities affairs in Pakistan’s Lahore province, whose political career has been devoted to protecting the rights of religious minorities.
  • Fernando Carrillo Flórez, a former ambassador, minister of justice, and minister of the interior from Colombia who has published more than 14 books and 80 articles on democracy, governance, and reform of justice.
  • Maati Munjib, a journalist, professor, and president of Freedom Now, an organization devoted to protecting journalists and freedom of expression in Morocco. Because of his activism and writings, he faces a possible five years in prison. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have called for charges against him to be dropped.


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