News

16 Oct

This morning the UN General Assembly will hold elections for 15 seats on the Human Rights Council for the term starting 1 January 2018. We urge States to act with integrity when placing their vote.

10 Oct

… Mohamed Zaree from Egypt. Zaree’s brave and dedicated work to promote and protect human rights was honoured with his recognition as the Laureate at the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in Geneva tonight.

03 Oct

The General Assembly's Third Committee is now in session. Below is our outline of what to look out for. 

06 Oct
Bagua Case protests

Defending human rights can be a tough and dangerous work in Peru, in particular for environmental and land defenders. ISHR, together with the National Coordinator for Human Rights (CNDDHH), urges the government of Peru to take all necessary measures to eradicate reprisals and acts of violence against human rights defenders.

03 Oct

Despite human rights defenders’ critical role as ‘justice enablers’ for the victims of corporate human rights abuses, it can be dangerous and even deadly work to defend human rights over ‘profits, privilege and prejudice,’ two new reports by UN experts conclude. 

History and Impact 2014

ISHR begins work to develop a model national law on the protection of human rights defenders, working successfuly with partners in Cote d'Ivoire to secure the enactment of the first such law in Africa. 

History and impact 2016

ISHR spearheads the development of an influential Model National Law on Human Rights Defenders, endorsed by 28 of the world`s leading human rights lawyers and experts and already used as a template to guide the development of defender laws in a host of countries. 

History and impact 2015

ISHR and all ten UN treaty bodies come togheter to adopt a comprehensive policy to combat reprisals, known as the San Jose Guidelines. ISHR is working intensively with Ghana and 65 other States to draft and deliver a statement to the Human Rights Council articulating that the Council has a `legal duty to address reprisals`. 

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Opinion:

A conducive legal framework is a necessary, although by no means sufficient, element of a safe and enabling environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs). This requires both the absence of laws and policies which restrict or, even, criminalise the work of HRDs, and the enactment and effective implementation of laws and policies which support and protect their work, writes ISHR director Phil Lynch.

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Mechanism

1984

ISHR commences work to develop an international Declaration on the Rights of Human Rights Defenders

1988

ISHR publishes first Human Rights Monitor, connecting human rights defenders on the ground with international human rights systems and developments

1993

ISHR facilitates global civil society engagement with the Second World Conference on Human Rights, which leads to the strengthening of women’s rights, the affirmation of universal rights, the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

1994

ISHR provides training, technical assistance and support to its 1000th human rights defender

1998

After 14 years of ISHR lobbying, advocacy and negotiation, the UN General Assembly adopts the landmark Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

2000

UN Secretary-General appoints Hina Jilani as inaugural UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders, strengthening protection of human rights advocates at risk worldwide.

2004

ISHR leads a successful campaign for the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

2005

ISHR co-founds and supports a range of international and regional human rights coalitions, including the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the West African Human Rights Defenders Network

2006

ISHR contributes to the establishment and institution building of a new global peak body for human rights issues, the UN Human Rights Council

2007

ISHR leads and coordinates the development of the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, strengthening legal recognition and protection of LGBT rights worldwide

2011

ISHR’s sustained advocacy on the issue of reprisals and intimidation faced by human rights defenders leads to adoption of landmark UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning and strengthening protections against reprisals

2012

Working with key NGO partners such as Amnesty International, ISHR leads civil society efforts to strengthen UN human rights treaty bodies, prevent their weakening and better connect their work with victims and human rights defenders on the ground

2013

Working with supportive states and NGOs, ISHR advocacy leads to adoption of historic Human Rights Council resolution calling on all States to review and amend national laws to respect and protect the work of human rights defenders