ISHR Event

'The Gaze that Subverts': a virtual exhibition to celebrate women defenders

Virtual exhibition

29 November 2020 - March 2021

Visit the exhibition here!

In celebration of International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (29 November), 'The Gaze that Subverts' is an exclusive online exhibition of pieces by the painter Z.

Each painting tells a story of a woman or women who, in defiance of patriarchal structures and authoritarian repression, occupy public space in China in their fight for justice.

Z's paintings are both prompted by, and provide - in their embodiment, the bent torso, the flexed muscle - a response to, a central question of rights defence: 'How do we change unjust power relationships with the all-too-scarce resources we have at our disposal?'

The exhibition will run from 29 November 2020 through March 2021. The link to visit the exhibition will be shared closer to the date.

A public event to close the exhibition will be announced in the coming months.

View the event flyer

 

 

©: Z, 2020

Date: 
Sunday, November 29, 2020 - 10:00 to Sunday, March 14, 2021 - 18:00
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Anti-Black racism & police brutality: human rights defenders’ expectations from the UN Human Rights Council

Wednesday 18 November

16-18h CET

Online event

Download the flyer here

Interpretation in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French

Captioning in English

Join us for a conversation with human rights defenders working on police violence and/or systemic racism! Along with discussing the specfic country-contexts including how patterns of systemic racism affect women and LGBTI+ persons, they will be discussing the implementation of the Human Rights Council resolution 43/1 that mandated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with preparing a report on systemic racism and police violence against Africans and people of African descent.

Panellists:

  • Salimah Hankins, U.S. Human Rights Network
  • Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, Fondation Frantz Fanon
  • Douglas Belchior, Uneafro Brasil and Coalizão Negra por Direitos
  • Rodje Malcom, Jamaicans for Justice
  • Esther Mamadou, Implementation Team for the International Decade for People of African Descent Spain
  • Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians
  • + Videos by Dayana Blanco Acendra,Founder and Director General of Ilex Acción Jurídica (Colombia), and Mothers against Police Brtuality (USA)

Please RSVP here if you wish to attend the event.

Information on panellists:

  • Salimah Hankins,  is the Interim Executive Director of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Salimah began her engagement with the Network in 2013 and has served as a human rights consultant advising domestic civil and human rights groups on their advocacy efforts before various United Nations human rights bodies. In 2014, Salimah organised the civil society side of the U.S government review before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to this, Salimah has produced the last six annual human rights reports for the Network which chronicles human rights abuses in the United States through the lens of local grassroots groups and national organisations. Salimah has also served as Director of Human Rights for a Brooklyn-based human rights organization working primarily with Black women survivors of sexual violence. Salimah began her legal career as an associate at the ACLU of Maryland, advocating for the rights of low-income communities of color living in Baltimore’s public housing. Admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and California, Salimah most recently served as Senior Staff Attorney for Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, CA. While there, she worked on anti-gentrification and displacement issues and employed a community lawyering approach to legal representation. In this role, Salimah worked with community groups to secure a $20 million settlement from Facebook which created an affordable housing fund worth. $75 million. Salimah was given the Marriage Equality Advocate award from the ACLU of Maryland, served as a human rights fellow at the Urban Justice Center, and was selected for the Whitney M. Young fellowship at Columbia University.
  • Mireille Fanon-Mendès France is the President of Foundation Frantz Fanon, former chair of the Working group on People of African descent, prominent anti-racism human rights defender and scholar on racial justice and decoloniality.
  • Douglas Belchior, is the founder of Uneafro Brasil, a grassroots organisation focused on educating poor, black youth and mobilizing around political issues in Brazil, and the co-founder of Coalizão Negra por Direitos (Black Coalition for Rights in Brazil), which includes more than 150 organisations across the country. 
  • Rodje Malcolm is the  Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice. Jamaicans for Justice is a non-governmental human rights organisation that provides legal services in response to human rights violations, conducts research and advocacy to advance social justice, and conducts training and education programmes to build a more just society. Rodje leads the organization’s strategic direction and advocacy.
  • Esther Mamadou is a human rights defender expert in forced migration. Her experiences in the fight against Anti-Black racism from a human rights and gender perspective include working in the UK supporting refugees, in Ecuador supporting Afrocolombian women refugees in the context of the armed conflict and in Spain advising on migration and refugee law since 2004. She is currently the coordinator of the Refugee Programme at Movimiento Por La Paz in Valencia. As part of the implementation team of the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2014 in Spain, she is supporting the efforts in fighting anti-Black racism and police violence suffered by people of African descent and Africans in the diaspora in Spain and internationally.
  • Deji Adeyanju is one of the leading human rights defenders in Nigerian who is dedicated to fighting for justice, preservation of democratic ideals, protection of civic space, rights of vulnerable groups and rule of law. He is a former unionist and prominent activist in Nigeria. He has been arrested and jailed severally by the government for leading protesters and fighting for the rights of persecuted journalists and civil rights campaigners. He is the Convener of Concerned Nigerians Group, a civil rights pressure group in Nigeria. Comrade Deji Adeyanju has led the #EndSARS campaign against police brutality in Nigeria with other activists since 2016 until the advocacy gained global attention. He has also led campaigns calling for electoral reforms, #SayNoToSociaMediaBill which is an advocacy against social media regulation in the country and several other campaigns.

Background information:

In response to global protests denouncing systemic racism and police brutality and to a request from the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Michael Brown, supported by over 600 NGOs, the African Group convened an urgent debate at the Human Rights Council in June 2020. The African Group had proposed the establishment of an international commission of inquiry on system racism and police brutality in the USA and other parts of the world. However, due to immense diplomatic pressure from the USA and its allies, the Council decided to instead mandate the High Commissioner with preparing a report, due in June 2021, on systemic racism, police violence against Africans and people of African descent, and government responses to anti racism protests and share regular updates on the issue at all Council’s sessions.

With the kind support of Ville de Genève

 
 

 

 

Photo: Flickr/Christopher Camp

 

Date: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 16:00
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Structural racism, police violence and the right to protest

Monday 2 November

1.15-2.45pm (New York time)

Online event - Register here

Download the flyer here

MODERATORS:

  • Christina Hioureas, Counsel, Chair – United Nations Practice Group, Foley Hoag LLP
  • Laura O’Brien, Access Now U.N. Advocacy Officer

PANELISTS:

  • Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program
  • Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
  • Philonise Floyd, Brother of George Floyd, victim of police violence
  • Ben Crump, Legal Counsel to the Family of George Floyd
  • Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association 
  • Professor Gay McDougall, Senior Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice/Center for Race, Law and Justice, Fordham University School of Law

The extrajudicial killing of George Floyd and the efforts to suppress Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism and violence against people of African descent have galvanized a global response.

Last June, the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Philando Castile, together with over 650 civil society organizations, called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to convene a special session to respond to the situation of escalating human rights abuses in the United States. They sought the creation of an independent commission of inquiry into recent extrajudicial police killings of people of African descent in the United States, as well as allegations of excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and journalists in the demonstrations in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

In response, the UNHRC held an urgent debate on systemic racism and police brutality, which resulted in a resolution 43/1 which: 1) condemns racially discriminatory law enforcement practices and structural racism in the criminal justice system, as well as the recent incidents of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators; 2) requests that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights prepare a report on systemic racism and violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, “especially those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd," and; 3) requests that the High Commissioner, “examine government responses to anti- racism peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force.”

The virtual side event will consider the global impact of systemic racism and law enforcement brutality, exploring the lack of accountability for police violence and the importance of the freedom of expression and assembly across the globe on these issues.

Date: 
Monday, November 2, 2020 - 13:15 to 14:45
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Human Rights Council Elections 2020: discussions of candidate States’ visions for membership - ONLINE EVENT

Wednesday 9 September 2020

9:00 am - 12:00 pm (New York time)
15:00 - 18:00 (Geneva time)

#HRCpledging

Download flyer

 

To attend this online event, please register here.

In advance of the Human Rights Council elections that will take place this autumn for the membership term 2021-2023, Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights will hold an online pledging event for candidate States on 9 September 2020.

Candidate States are listed below, with a link to their "scorecards": 

1.     African States: 4 seats, 4 candidates – Group scorecard

2.     Asia-Pacific States: 4 seats, 5 candidates - Group scorecard

3.     Eastern European Group: 2 seats, 2 candidates - Group scorecard

4.     Latin American and Caribbean States: 3 seats, 3 candidates - Group scorecard

5.     Western European and other States: 2 seats, 2 candidates - Group scorecard

 It is intended to give candidates an opportunity to present their visions for Council membership and to respond to questions from a range of stakeholders on how they propose to realise the pledges and commitments they may have made in seeking election.

State representatives, civil society, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and other key stakeholders are invited to participate actively in the event and pose questions to candidate States. 

To attend this online event, please register here. The event will also be livestream on YouTube in English, French and Spanish.

This event is kindly sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We are grateful to Canada and the Czech Republic for their financial support for this event.

Have a question? Follow the event and submit questions to candidates via Twitter:  @ISHRglobal #HRCpledging

Date: 
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 09:00
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HRC43 Side Event: Intimidation and its impact on engagement with the UN human rights system: Methodological challenges and opportunities

Thursday 12 March 2020

13:30 - 14:30 

Livestreamed on Civicus Facebook page

Download the flyer here

In the context of its ongoing work to prevent and address reprisals and intimidation against defenders engaging with the UN system, ISHR is launching a new study, ‘Intimidation and its Impact on Engagement with the UN Human Rights System: Methodological challenges and opportunities’.

In recent Secretary-General reports and statements by the Assistant Secretary-General, there has been increased concern raised about the issue of self-censorship, i.e. the phenomenon of engagement with the UN being inhibited due to severe intimidation occurring in highly restrictive environments. This phenomenon is deeply concerning in and of itself but an additional concern is the difficulties inherent in monitoring it, documenting it, and thus seeking accountability for it.

The study responds to this challenge and proposes methodological approaches to strengthen the future capacity to measure and understand how intimidation tactics – both blunt and subtle – effectively inhibit human rights reporting and action, thus reinforcing impunity for States’ abuses.

The event will be livestreamed on CIVICUS Facebook page and recorded for ISHR’s Youtube channel. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter: @ISHRGlobal #EndReprisals

Panellists:

  • Peggy Hicks, Director, Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures, and Right to Development Division, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Azadeh Pourzand, Human Rights Researcher, Impact Iran
  • Susan Wilding, Head of Geneva Office, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  • Salma El Hosseiny, Programme Manager (Human Rights Council), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Moderator: 

  • Phil Lynch, Director of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Photo: Ryan Brown

Date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 13:30 to 14:30
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HRC43 Side Event: Women human rights defenders radically transforming a world in crisis

Wednesday 4 March 2020

12:00 - 13:00 

New Venue: ISHR Offices, Geneva

1 rue de Varembé, 5th Floor

Download the flyer

This event is co-hosted with Amnesty International, Global Fund for Women, Urgent Action Fund, Mesoamerican Initiative of women human rights defenders, and Just Associates (JASS).

Women activists who work in conflict and post-conflict contexts are strongly contributing to sustainable and inclusive peace and security. The UN and its member States must recognise and consider women human rights defenders as partners in peace and security. They should holistically protect women defenders’ groups, movements and communities and ensure an enabling environment where they can thrive and expand their work. We call on the UN and its member States to hold perpetrators accountable for violations against women human rights defenders and to take a firm stand against reprisals, violence and impunity. 

Panellists:

  • Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders
  • Nazik Awad, Sudan
  • Leslie Xamara Ramírez, El Salvador
  • Luz Mary Rosero Garces, Colombia
  • Fatima Bentaleb, France
  • Hasmida Karim, Indonesia

Moderator: 

  • Zephanie Repollo, Just Associates (JASS) 

Photo credits: 

Andre_Pain_EPA
P79TER_UN Women_India
FlickR_Amine Ghrabi_Tunisian woman
Iran_FlickR_Green day women in Iran by Hamed Saber_council
UNPhoto_Eric_Kanalstein_International Women's Day Observed in Liberia
Woman protestor 2 by Collin David Anderson
Woman protestor by Collin David Anderson
women by Danumurthi Mahendra
Women Protest__FlickR_Say No - Unite_Bogota small

 

Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 12:00 to 13:00
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ACHPR Side Event: Ending intimidation and reprisals against those cooperating with regional mechanisms in Africa

Tuesday 22 October 2019

17:30 - 19:00 

Room I, Kairaba Beach Hotel

Banjul, The Gambia

Download the flyer

Télécharger le flyer

 

 This event is co-hosted with Defend Defenders and African Defenders, with the kind support of Brot für die Welt.

It aims at providing more visibility and clarity on the Special Rapporteur’s mandate on reprisals, sharing some lessons learned from efforts to address reprisals and intimidation at the international level, and honing in on what more can be done at the regional level. In particular, the event will be an opportunity for the Special Rapporteur to share key information on how to engage with the reprisals aspect of his mandate through the presentation of the mandate’s working documents in this regard. 

Panellists:

  • Remy Ngoy Lumbu, ACHPR Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa
  • Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders
  • Clément Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly
  • Walaa Salah, Sudan and South Sudan Campaigner for Amnesty International 
  • Madeleine Sinclair, ISHR New York Co-Director and Legal Counsel

Moderator: 

  • Joseph Bikanda, Coordinator at African Defenders 

Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Date: 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 17:30 to 19:00
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UNGA74 Side Event - End impunity for human rights violations against defenders

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
UN Headquarters, New York
Room CR-11


Download the flyer here

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders will present a thematic report to the 74th session of the General Assembly in October 2019. His report will address the topic of impunity for human rights violations and abuses committed against human rights defenders. This event will present a valuable opportunity to reflect on key ideas put forward both in the Special Rapporteur’s report and the draft resolution to be presented by Norway, and look at the challenges faced globally regarding the implementation of international human rights commitments and obligations.

This event is organised by Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights with the kind sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations.

Panellists: 

  • Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
  • Radya Al-Mutawakel, Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, Yemen
  • Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voice Myanmar, Myanmar

Moderator: 

  • Sherine Tadros, Amnesty International

Welcoming remarks: 

  • Ambassador Mona Juul, Permanent Representative of Norway

Please RSVP by 11 October.

You will require a UN Grounds Pass to attend the event. 

Photo: Amnesty International

 

Date: 
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 13:15 to 14:30
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Human Rights Council Elections 2019: discussions of candidate States’ visions for membership - NEW YORK

Friday 6 September 2019

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Trusteeship Council Chamber

#HRCpledging 

 

In advance of the Human Rights Council elections that will take place this autumn for the membership term 2020-2022, Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights will hold a pledging event for candidate States in New York on 6 September 2019.

Candidate States are listed below, with a link to their "scorecards": 

The event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of The Bahamas and Denmark. It is intended to give candidates an opportunity to present their visions for Council membership and to respond to questions from a range of stakeholders on how they propose to realise the pledges and commitments they may have made in seeking election.

State representatives, civil society, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and other key stakeholders are invited to participate actively in the event and pose questions to candidate States. 

You will require a UN Grounds Pass to attend the event. If you do not have a UN Grounds Pass, please send a request to cartro@um.dk by Tuesday 3 September, 6pm GMT.

Can’t make it or have a question? Follow the event live on UN Web TV  http://webtv.un.org and submit questions to candidates via Twitter:  @ISHRglobal #HRCpledging

 

A mirror event will be held in Geneva on 11 September. 

 

Date: 
Friday, September 6, 2019 - 10:00
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The continued silencing and imprisonment of Saudi women's rights activists

Tuesday 24 September 2019

13:00 - 14:00 

Room VIII

Palais des Nations

Download the flyer

 

This side-event is organised by the Free Saudi Women Human Rights Defenders Coalition: CIVICUS, Women’s March Global, International Service for Human Rights, Gulf Center for Human Rights Studies, MENA Women Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Equality Now!, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. 

Panellists:

  • Lina Al Hathloul, the sister of detained defender Loujain Al-Hathloul 
  • Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders 
  • Khalid Ibrahim, Gulf Centre for Human Rights
  • Salma El Hosseiny, ISHR

Moderator:

  • Uma Mishra-Newbery, Women's March Global
Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 13:00 to 14:00
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