03 Jan

2016 was a tough year for human rights and their defenders. But through a combination of powerful partnerships and principled and persistent advocacy we managed to defy the trend and contribute to some significant positive developments.

22 Dec

In the very final UN session of the year, a handful of countries seeking to avoid scrutiny of their own human rights records are attempting to cut off essential funding for the UN's independent experts.

19 Dec

 An attempt to hinder the work of the independent UN expert tasked with combatting discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people has been defeated.

17 Dec

In a landmark decision, the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing has resolved to engage directly with national human rights institutions (NHRIs). This will be the first time that national human rights institutions will participate in their own right in sessions of a New York-based subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly. 

09 Dec

Coinciding with International Human Rights Defenders Day, we're pleased to share our rough guide to UN General Assembly Resolution 68/181 regarding the protection of women human rights defenders.


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