The people who change the world

Protestors with a sign saying "not afraid"
Photo: © A. Abbas / Magnum Photos

Sold out! Join a celebration of human rights defenders and learn what we all can do to promote positive change.

Time: 15 May 2023 15:00 - 16:30 CEST
Place: Norwegian Nobel Institute

The event was livestreamed, watch the stream here:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, as well as the 75th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights. To mark this important milestone, we have invited Mary Lawlor, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders. She will share success stories of human rights defenders through the last 25 years and discuss the way forward with young activists.

The last year has seen big movements of public protests across the world. In Iran, women and men have taken to the streets to protest the brutality of the regime. In Norway, Sámi protesters blocked the government buildings over the controversy of windmills at Fosen. At the same time, people who raise their voice against the regime in Belarus are being sent to prison, as is the case with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatiski. Authoritarian leadership is putting a ban on human rights activism and public protest, making it visible how important these kinds of movements are for a functioning democracy. How can we make conditions better for the human rights defenders of the future?


Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Hector Ulloa, President SAIH (Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International AssistanceFund)

Gina Gylver, head of Young Friends of the Earth, Norway.

Moderator: Catharina Bu, Secretary General, United Nations Association of Norway

About nobel peace talks

The event is part of the series Nobel Peace Talks, highlighting topics related to the Nobel Peace Prize to Ales Bialiatski, Memorial and Center for Civil Liberties. Nobel Peace Talks is supported by Fritt Ord, Hydro and Reitan Retail.

The event is co-organised with Norwegian Human rights fund and FN-sambandet.