European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights discussed the protection of human rights defenders[:]in its meeting on 25 January 2010. Chairwoman Hautala is rapporteur of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Human Rights Defenders and presented in the meeting the first draft of her report. [:]The hearing at the Subcommittee on Human Rights was also addressed by Ms Mary Lawlor, the Director of Front Line and Mr Helge Lunde, the Executive Director of International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), who called for stronger EU policies to protect and cooperate with human rights defenders.In her report Ms Hautala focuses on the protection of human rights defenders in their own country, but also to the delivery of visas for human rights defenders at risk and in emergency situations. Ms Hautala also recommends that urgency visas should also be accompanied by the launching of a programme of shelters cities so as to complement the existing tools and protection mechanisms for human rights defenders. More generally Ms Hautala’s report will look into institutional strengthening and innovations under the Treaty of Lisbon, how to make the EU Human Rights Policy more coherent and systematic, how to increase visibility of human rights defenders as this can work as an efficient protection measure and how to develop the EU action more result-oriented with regards the protection of human rights defenders. It is foreseen that the report will be presented in the European Parliament Plenary in May.