01 Oct

States, corporations, investors and the UN all have an interest and responsibility to ensure civil society actors are able to undertake their vital work in a safe and enabling environment, according to a major report by ISHR together with eleven national human rights organisations from around the world.

02 Oct
Tamil women hold up images of their disappeared family members during the war against LTTE at a protest in Jaffna, Aug. 27, 2013. (Source: VOA News)

After years of advocacy, defenders and civil society in Sri Lanka and the diaspora have seen some progress in the Human Rights Council to address human rights violations in the country. ISHR welcomes the adopted resolution, and calls for the complementary OHCHR report on Sri Lanka to serve as the roadmap for progress to protect defenders and ensure accountability and reconciliation.  

30 Sep

The report and recommendations of an international fact-finding mission to Mexico were launched at an event at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, as calls came for the State to do more to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders and accountability for threats and attacks against them.



States must confront the reality that people who have the courage to engage with the UN are suffering reprisals and intimidation. In calling on States to take six key steps to address this deplorable situation, Madeleine Sinclair of ISHR calls on the Secretary-General to appoint a focal point on the issue of reprisals. 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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