to the strategy Human rights defenders are those individuals, groups and organs of society that promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. Human rights defenders seek the promotion and protection of civil and political rights as well as the promotion, protection and realization of economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights defenders also promote and protect the rights of members of groups such as indigenous communities. The definition does not include those individuals or groups who commit or propagate violence.

The activities of human rights defenders include: documentation of violations; seeking remedies for victims of such violations through the provision of legal, psychological, medical or other support; developing and discussing new human rights ideas and principles and advocating their acceptance; promotion and education on human rights; and combating cultures of impunity, which serve to cloak systematic and repeated breaches of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This local strategy for Afghanistan is based on the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders1 , and the EUSR workshop on human rights defenders held in Kabul on 1-2 October 2014. The EU+ Local Strategy on Human Rights Defenders in Afghanistan 2014, which was revised in December 2016, is agreed upon by the EU and its Member States and Canada, Norway, Switzerland and United States.

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