Indeed, we firmly believe that:
- If the environment in which human rights defenders work is safe and enabling,
- And if human rights defenders have the capacity and support to engage with human rights mechanisms,
- And if such mechanisms are accessible, responsive, and effective in promoting, protecting and contributing to the realisation of human rights and accountability for violations and abuses,
- Then, human rights defenders will be more effective, collaborative and influential to ensure that all people enjoy freedom, dignity and equality, in communities that are diverse and inclusive, in a world that is fair, just, sustainable and peaceful.
Our human rights strategy is focused on equipping human rights defenders with tools and capacities to promote and protect human rights by engaging with various mechanisms and actors, online and offline. With ISHR, human rights defenders are provided the useful knowledge they need to have an impact at all levels. We also help them shape the most effective strategies according to their goals. We organise collaborative and intersectional networks and coalitions, in order to support them. We want to leverage the voices of civil society, States, and international and regional mechanisms that take action when their rights are restricted. We also ensure that human rights defenders who are subject to grave violations such as reprisals or arbitrary detentions can seek justice and accountability through international and regional human rights bodies.
We ensure that States and non-State actors, such as businesses, respect human rights and are positive advocates for their realisation through legislative and policy actions; that, together with international and regional mechanisms, they stop and refrain from any restriction, hindrance or criminalisation of human rights defenders and their work. Furthermore, we work so that any State or non-State actor that engages in such deeds is held accountable. To do so, we encourage States to collaboratively work with human rights defenders in order to respect and protect them at the national, regional and international levels. We believe that the regulation of businesses and other private stakeholders with respect to human rights and human rights defenders is key to reinforce human rights mechanisms.
ISHR is also involved in furthering and strengthening the development of regional, national and international human rights mechanisms. For example, we make sure that cases of intimidation and reprisals are properly investigated and perpetrators are held accountable and appropriately sanctioned. We work so that in all regions, multilateralism and an international order based on respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law are receiving renewed and strengthened support, including through adequate funding and effective narratives. Human rights mechanisms must be accessible and secure, with policies and processes that allow for the safe and meaningful participation of human rights defenders, both online and offline. These mechanisms need to respond to requests from human rights defenders, examine situations from all regions in order to establish appropriate processes and mandates to promote accountability and justice. They must develop and adopt, in consultation with defenders, policies, resolutions and decisions that promote the recognition and protection of human rights defenders.