ARTICLE19 has created a new interactive map to illustrate the issues, needs and support gaps Iranian human rights defenders (HRDs) face whilst continuing with their activism in exile: Mind the Gap: Iranian Activists in Exile.
This map is based on the ARTICLE 19 Iran report: Defending from the Outside: A Needs Assessment of Iranian Human Rights Defenders in the Diaspora.
The map illustrates the interconnections, overlaps, and idiosyncratic features of the hurdles these HRDs face on their journey to effective activism outside Iran.
Whilst navigating the stations, you’ll notice that each line of the map represents different categories of issues faced by HRDs:
- Donor and institutional gaps
- Individual logistical/skills gaps
- Social/community gaps
- Individual emotional/psychosocial gaps
The stations demonstrate the overlap and interplay between the issues, ending with the destination: the recommendations as to how certain actions can be taken to mitigate these critical problems – taking the right routes to support these vital defenders of human rights.
Four months on from our original report, Defending from the Outside, the findings still resonate with those involved or those affected by the issues raised. From Iranian and non-Iranian HRDs, to donors and large human rights organisations, many have commented on the need to address the issues identified in the report.
The time has come to address these ever-expanding gaps: ARTICLE 19 has created this map to remind all those interested in helping Iranian HRDs in exile – including larger international organisations and donors – to mind the gaps, and to ensure that they are not themselves creating hurdles that might make those working are on human rights issue of Iran more vulnerable to challenges set before them.
It is clear from the findings of the report that the institutions, governments, and organisations who provide assistance to these HRDs need to recognise that the voices of such a diverse group of activists are rarely heard, leaving many support gaps open, from psychosocial support to adequate feedback on failed proposals. We’re making sure they no longer go unheard: the report and the Mind the Gap map are tools to help human rights defenders in Iran’s diaspora.
Many of these HRDs were silenced in Iran, we must not now fail to listen to them on the outside: