News

23 Jan

ISHR is delighted to announce the appointment of Maryam Al-Khawaja and Pierre Avanzo to its global Board. The appointments further strengthen ISHR's commitment and connection to human rights defenders at risk and the organisation's strategic planning and governance expertise.

21 Jan

All States should develop and implement specific laws on the protection of human rights defenders and conduct a comprehensive legislative audit to repeal laws which criminalise their work, according to a major new report released in Spanish by ISHR in Bogota today.

21 Jan

China should withdraw or substantially revise a proposed counter-terrorism law which could be used to further monitor, censor and criminalise the work of human rights defenders, ISHR and Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a joint statement today.

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Opinion:

Worlwide we are simultaneously witnessing a democratic recession on the part of governments and an increasing appetite for democracy on the part of ordinary people. We must respond with an increased commitment to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression, writes UN expert Maina Kiai.

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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