23 Mar

The third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review should be marked by an increased focus on the participation and protection of human rights defenders and other civil society actors, both in the process itself and through the implementation of recommendations at the national level.

23 Mar

ISHR expresses concern over the degrading situation for defenders and journalists in South Sudan and urges States to support the renewal of the UN Commission on Human Rights in the country. 

20 Mar

The UN Human Rights Council and its member and observer States should push for reform of the UN committee responsible for accrediting NGOs, ISHR said today. The dysfunctional practice of the ECOSOC NGO Committee prevents many human rights NGOs from accessing the UN and deprives the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms of their valuable inputs and expertise. 

17 Mar

ISHR and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights call on the Zimbabwean Government to improve the situation of human rights defenders and align domestic laws with international human rights instruments and protections guaranteed in the Constitution.

17 Mar
Photo of person protesting Anti-Homosexuality Act

The Ugandan Government must repeal domestic laws that restrict the work of human rights defenders and should refrain from criminalising their legitimate activities, say ISHR and the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum.


Human rights defenders play a key role in advancing the rule of law, yet they are often at risk because of their work. Sierra Leone has the potential to show international leadership by becoming the first anglophone country in West Africa to enact a specific human rights defender protection law, writes Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Catherine Campbell.

Browse our articles:






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