Annual report

© Image: Stephen Horsley / [email protected]

Annual report | Human rights defenders: inspiring hope, shaping a fairer future

Annual report 2022 for year ending 31 December 2021

Read the full report here



ISHR has a unique way of working with activists. They carry great consciousness of diversity, realities and the needs of their trainees.

Who we serve and support

ISHR supports and acts in solidarity with human rights defenders in their work for freedom, dignity, equality, justice and other fundamental values at the international, regional and national levels. We undertake this work with and through other non-governmental organisations, networks and coalitions.

  • 10,876

    number of people accessing information and support through the ISHR Academy

  • 1,019

    number of human rights defenders to whom ISHR provided training or advocacy support

  • 25

    number of human rights defenders that we supported in addressing the UN Human Rights Council directly in 2021

Play video Our contribution to human rights change in 2021

Our contribution to human rights change in 2021

Here are some of the things we are most proud of; impacts that reflect and were made possible thanks to the creativity, solidarity, and resilience of our partners, our staff, and the human rights defenders we collectively serve.

New resources

In 2021, ISHR published a number of resources supporting all people who defend, promote and protect human rights.

Quick guide to a Model Law

Quick guide to a Model Law

This Quick Guide, accompanying the Model Law, has been developed to communicate the sections of the Model Law, including the rights of human rights defenders and obligations of States, in an accessible manner.

Towards Greater Impact

ISHR analysed 709 reprisals cases documented by the UN Secretary- General. Our study found that, while the appointment of a UN senior official on intimidation and reprisals led to an increase in resources and better reporting and follow up, there is still room to strengthen the UN’s response.

A Seat at the table

Whether as community activists, NGO workers, or diplomats, most of us who support human rights are involved in putting stories out into the world. Discover our new guide to crafting effective human rights narratives at the UN.

Practical Guide to the UN Special Procedures

Practical Guide to the UN Special Procedures

Our guide (which was fully updated in 2021) provides an overview of the system of independent human rights experts known as the Special Procedures, and the different ways human rights defenders can make use of it to further their human rights causes.

cover of the report

Potential of National Human Rights Institutions to serve as protection mechanisms for human rights defenders

Our latest research explores the extent to which national human rights institutions could act as national protection mechanisms as part of the implementation of national human rights defender protection laws in selected West African countries.

ISHR launches new study on a Global Network of Human Rights Defenders Focal Points

Study on a Global Network of Human Rights Defenders Focal Points

ISHR together with the HRD Hub at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York, launched a new study on the ‘Desirability and Feasibility of a Global Network of Human Rights Defenders Focal Points’.


HRDAP 2021 is a unique experience. The platform they offer us to improve our knowledge about international advocacy is very useful, accessible and practical, besides having many resources and tools that allow us to amplify our work as human rights defenders.

Increase in ISHR online media activity since 2020

  • ⬆44%

    212,212 of sessions on

  • ⬆10%

    27,413 followers on the English Twitter account

  • ⬆32%

    21,731 YouTube views

  • ⬆10%

    23,407 Facebook followers

Learn about the people who make ISHR!

Phil at a board meeting


ISHR is governed by a Board of Directors which is responsible for the overall strategy and governance of the organisation.


Meet our staff members, the driving force behind ISHR's impact.

many hands put together in a circle

Interns and Fellows

Meet the talented, passionate people who are gaining experience at ISHR - and who bring a whole fresh look into our activities!

Play video We stand with Ukraine

We stand with Ukraine

and with human rights defenders everywhere striving for peace, justice and accountability

Stay up-to-date with ISHR

Would you like to be informed of future events, news, updates on our work, invitations and appeals? Please enter your email address below!