News

13 Dec

The UN is seeking ideas on how best to support and engage with civil society at national level as well as within UN human rights mechanisms and other bodies. Online consultations will be held from 13 -24 January 2020. 

18 Dec

ISHR joins 24 other non-governmental organisations in raising the alarm about potentially serious negative impacts on human rights of budget proposals currently being debated at UN headquarters. 

21 Nov

15 NGOs that closely follow and engage with the Third Committee have joined together to publish a joint statement on outcomes of this 74th session.

05 Dec

A big thanks to everyone who’s getting behind our fundraising appeal and investing in a better world by supporting human rights defenders!

11 Dec
Independent Expert on SOGI, Victor Madrigal-Borloz

An updated series of factsheets by ILGA World and ISHR show that the UN Special Procedures have regularly raised concerns regarding human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) in 2019, including three experts raising these issues for the first time.

HRC40| NGO side events

Joint Statement China

Strategic litigation

ISHR's legal team is made up of two passionate human rights lawyers. Our strategic litigation at international, regional and national levels aims at ensuring human rights defenders have the freedom to effectively and safely protect and promote human rights; that perpetrators are held accountable and victims are provided with adequate remedies when human rights violations occur. With pro bono support of leading international law firms, we file and manage cases and amicus briefs with international, regional and national courts and bodies. 

Our strategic advocacy and interventions pursue several objectives: 

  • at the international level: strengthen the recognition of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders and other international human rights instruments as reaffirming binding international law or as relevant to the interpretation and application of binding obligations as they apply to defenders. 
  • at the regional and national levels: ensure that national and regional instruments are interpreted, applied and developed, in conformity with the Declaration on human rights defenders; and ensure that the Declaration is judicially incorporated into regional and national laws.

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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