Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk, people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Addressing the protection needs identified by defenders themselves, Front Line Defenders seeks to provide rapid and practical support, including through: international advocacy on behalf of defenders at immediate risk; grants to pay for practical security needs; training and resource materials on security and protection, including digital security; and rest and respite.
Front Line Defenders operates an emergency 24-hour phone line for human rights defenders in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian. In emergency situations Front Line Defenders can facilitate temporary relocation of human rights defenders. Front Line Defenders also promotes strengthened international and regional measures to protect human rights defenders including through support for the work of the UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders. It also hosts the annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk and provides opportunities for networking and exchange between human rights defenders through the biennial Dublin Platform.