HRC44 | Three key principles should guide UN's work on civil society, says new report

Participation, promotion and protection are the three watchwords that should guide the UN’s work on and with civil society, says a newly-released UN report.  Offering examples of good practice within the UN system -which provide a baseline for a new UN strategy on civil society- and a range of  recommendations, the report is timed to inform decision-making at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council. 

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03 Jun
Picture of Patricia Schulz - Donor for the International Service for Human Rights

Patricia Schulz is a Swiss lawyer specialised in international human rights law and gender equality. She is a Senior research associate at UNRISD, the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development, and a former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

15 May

Saudi women's rights activists are still in prison because they demanded gender equality. They were tortured and no one has been held accountable. Saudi Arabia is running for election to the UN Human Rights Council in October 2020. States must push Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release the activists and hold those who tortured them accountable.

13 May

COVID-19 presents huge challenges and opportunities for human rights; including for human rights defenders, for human rights mechanisms and for the human rights movement. ISHR Director Phil Lynch shares nine key reflections on what it might mean.

12 May

In order for the African human rights system to function to its fullest potential, human rights defenders must be able to share crucial information and perspectives regarding situations on the ground. However, many defenders still face unacceptable risks and are unable to cooperate safely with the African human rights system.

10 May

With Covid-19, human rights bodies are needing to re-think their priorities and working methods. In a first ever webinar, ex and current members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights spoke to the Commission’s efforts to keep relevant and effective in the face of the region's huge challenges.

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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