25 May

The effective implementation of human rights is a major challenge: there is a gap between the Council's activity and the reality on the ground. Former Swiss President Didier Burkhalter outlines some of the opportunities to close this gap and ensure the effective realisation of the human rights of every individual.

24 May

Additional core resources, mandatory reporting on cooperation and implementation by States, and dedicated support by the  Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) are all necessary to safeguard and strengthen the ‘crown jewels’ of the UN human rights systems, says Catarina de Albuquerque.

18 May

ISHR’s Board has been further strengthened by the appointment of leading international human rights experts and strategists Lucia Nader of Brazil and Elizabeth Broderick of Australia.



Ten brief ‘lessons’ highlight the great potential and possible pitfalls of the Human Rights Council’s ability to respond to serious violations. These lessons stem from Philippe Dam’s direct exposure to the Council during its ten years of existence and its 30 first sessions, and are shaped by his work with then-Geneva Director at Human Rights Watch, Julie de Rivero.

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