Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


The work carried out by Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) is fundamental for a more just and democratic society. Therefore, the acts of aggression against them, whether committed by individuals, the State, armed groups or corporative interests, constitute an indirect attack against the rights of the whole population. By restricting access to information and limiting political participation, these aggressions impede society from actively engaging in public affairs, something that ultimately takes the power away from the people.

From a perspective empathetic to HRDs, this Independent Practitioner Inquiry Capstone paper (IPIC) explores possible causes of violence exposure in HRDs’ work and its consequences, some of the actions that are being developed to confront this violence and also, potential pathways of how to better address risk in rough contexts. The work is the result of working with the Protection and Defense Program of Article 19 in Mexico City during the summer of 2017 and with the joint project "Protection and Welfare at the Time of Reporting" implemented by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly (PLA) of Bolivia and the Journalists Association of La Paz (JALP) during the spring of 2018 in La Paz.

Keywords: Violence, human rights, journalism, activism, risk, security.


Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Political Science | Psychology