Intervention tracker

Our intervention tracker compiles information on the letters we send to authorities in countries where lawyers and human rights defenders are threatened because of the cases they work on or the clients they represent.

The intervention tracker is part of our Lawyers at Risk programme to support lawyers and human rights defenders who are hindered in carrying out their professional duties.

Human rights violations are committed against lawyers and human rights defenders worldwide.

The tracker does not necessarily reflect all the work that we do in support of lawyers at risk, nor does it reflect all threats, intimidation, prosecutions and murders carried out against them.

It does not include other submissions we make, such as Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reports or amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) briefs. It also does not include confidential letters.

See all our intervention letters, filtered by region

2019 key findings

We sent 17 letters relating to 13 countries.

The highest number of letters we sent in 2019 was addressed to countries in:

  • North Asia (23%)
  • the Middle East and North Africa (18%)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (18%)
  • Europe (18%)
  • Latin America (17%)

The most common types of human rights violations addressed in the letters were:

  • arrest or detention (47%)
  • harassment or threats (41%)
  • enforced disappearance (6%)
  • assassination (6%)

The most frequent type of human rights violation committed against lawyers and human rights defenders worldwide has consistently been arbitrary arrest and detention.

The percentage of letters that addressed harassment and threats doubled in 2019 compared to 2018 and 2017.

Download the 2019 intervention tracker (PDF 822 KB)

Previous findings

We sent 15 letters relating to 13 countries.

Most letters were sent to countries in:

  • the Middle East and North Africa (26.7%)
  • Latin America (26.7%)
  • South Asia (20%)

The human rights violations most often committed against lawyers and human rights defenders in 2018 were:

  • arrest or detention (53.3%)
  • assassination (20%)
  • harassment or threats (20%)

Arrest and detention continue to be the most frequent violations and the number of assassinations increased in 2018. Killings were most frequent in Latin America, followed by South Asia.

Download the 2018 intervention tracker (PDF 823 KB)

We sent 19 intervention letters relating to 12 countries.

The highest number of letters sent in 2017 were addressed to countries in:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa (31.5%)
  • Europe (21%)
  • the Americas (15%)

The most common human rights violations addressed in the letters were:

  • arrest or detention (42%)
  • harassment or threats (21%)

Download the 2017 intervention tracker (PDF 1.68 MB)

We sent 28 intervention letters relating to 18 countries.

The highest number of intervention letters were sent to:

  • the Middle East and North Africa (29%)
  • Turkey (14%)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (14%)
  • the Americas (14%)

The most common types of human rights violations committed against lawyers and human rights defenders were:

  • arbitrary detention (40%)
  • assassination (20%)

Download the 2016 intervention tracker (PDF 834 KB)