Ending reprisals against human rights defenders: ISHR's impact in 2014 and vision for 2015


For many people, defending human rights can be dangerous work.

For many people, defending human rights can be dangerous work. From defamation to detention, and from enforced disappearances to executions, reprisals against human rights defenders and others for speaking out and seeking accountability through international and regional human rights mechanisms worsened in frequency and intensity throughout 2014.

At the same time, 2014 perhaps marked an inflection point for the international community in its resolve to combat reprisals, with unprecedented progress in the development of policies and mechanisms to address reprisals, much of it led by ISHR. Over the course of 2014, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights became the first regional human rights body to establish a dedicated reprisals focal point, eight of ten UN treaty bodies appointed rapporteurs to investigate and follow up on allegations of intimidation and reprisals, numerous treaty bodies issued recommendations regarding the protection of human rights defenders, and a group of 56 States led by Botswana renewed the call for the appointment of a high level official to protect those who seek to cooperate with the UN.

Read about the impact of our work in 2014 to end and ensure accountability for reprisals against human rights defenders, and our vision of what we can achieve with your support in 2015.