Legal protection of human rights defenders: ISHR's impact in 2014 and vision for 2015

15.04.2015

The legal recognition and protection of human rights defenders at the national level is a key element of ensuring a safe and enabling environment for their vital work.

The legal recognition and protection of human rights defenders at the national level is a key element of ensuring a safe and enabling environment for their vital work. Recognising this, in 2014, ISHR worked in close partnership with the West African Human Rights Defenders Network and the Côte d’Ivoire Coalition of Human Rights Defenders towards the successful enactment of a ‘Law on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Defenders’.

While the enactment of specific human rights defender law is a positive step, the impact of such a law depends on its effective implementation and adequate resourcing of the protection mechanism that it mandates. In this context, ISHR was pleased to take part in an international civil society mission to Mexico to examine and make recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the Mexican law on the protection of human rights defenders and journalists.

An enabling environment for human rights defenders also requires the removal of legal restrictions on their work, with ISHR’s landmark report ‘From restriction to protection’ providing a roadmap for national level law reform in areas from penal codes to tax laws.

Read about the impact or our work to strengthen the legal protection of human rights defenders in 2014 and our vision of what we can achieve with your support in 2015.