Our Impact

ISHR has made a major contribution to designing and building the global human rights system and to supporting and strengthening national, regional and international human rights movements.

ISHR was established in 1984 to support human rights defenders and advocate for stronger and more effective human rights laws and institutions. Over the last 30 years, we have made a major contribution to designing and building the global human rights system and to supporting and strengthening regional and international human rights movements.

Our theory of change 

Our theory of change is founded on the fact that the work of defenders is essential to the promotion, protection and realisation of all human rights for all people. Based on extensive consultation, research and evidence, we theorise that:

If defenders can work safely at the national, regional and international levels,

And if defenders have the capacity, connections and support to organise and engage with international and regional mechanisms,

And if these mechanisms are accessible and responsive to defenders, and effective in promoting human rights and accountability for violations and abuses

Then, defenders will be able to work more effectively, collaboratively and influentially at the national, regional and international levels to ensure that all people enjoy all human rights.

Read here about our theory of change and how we achieve impact.

Read here about an external evaluation of ISHR’s work in 2017; in 2019, on the subject of national protection laws (here is a summary version) and in 2020 which reviewed nine international human rights groups including ISHR.

Read here about our enduring global impact.

Read here about our Strategic Framework for 2021-2025 – a bold, ambitious and dynamic agenda.