HRDAP

Defenders' stories

Here at ISHR we are constantly being inspired by the brave people taking action to defend human rights and want to share some of their stories with you.

Adrien-Claude Zoller: ISHR Founder

Born and educated in Geneva, ISHR founder Adrien Zoller’s lifelong commitment to non-governmental and human rights work began as a hobby. Adrien spoke to ISHR about what drove him towards his human rights vocation, and about ISHR’s founding and profound impact to the global human rights movement.

Khartini Slamah: Malaysian LGBTI Rights Defender

Khartini Slamah is a Malaysian transgender human rights defender working on HIV/AIDS and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. She has more than 27 years’ experience in HIV/AIDS work at the national, regional and International levels, working closely with the transgender and sex worker communities. She currently works with ISEAN Hivos Program, PT Foundation as the TG program manager in Malaysia.

Henri Tiphagne: Indian Human Rights Defender

Despite the trials faced by People’s Watch in fighting the suspension of its registration under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA) by the Indian government for nearly two years, the Tamil Nadu-based human rights NGO continues to work for the promotion and protection of human rights through the monitoring of human rights violations, strategic advocacy and solidarity with peoples’ struggles. Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director of People’s Watch, speaks to ISHR about the challenges faced by human rights defenders in India.

New Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders sets out his vision

In this exclusive interview with ISHR, the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, sets out his vision and priorities for the mandate. ‘I intend to promote a focus on prevention, ensuring that both State and non-State actors understand the importance of the work of defenders and develop laws and policies to promote and support rather than restrict and impede that work,' he says

Veronica Yates: The Child Rights International Network

ISHR has decided to publish a series of profiles of representatives of non-governmental organisations fighting to obtain ECOSOC consultative status to the UN through the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs. Consultative status is required to attend and participate in many UN meetings, including those of the Human Rights Council. We hope these profiles will help expose the Committee's dysfunction, share the struggles of human rights defenders that are repeatedly blocked from bringing their experiences and insights on critical issues to policy-making at the UN, and ultimately help secure consultative status to the UN for these credible NGOs carrying out important and valuable human rights work.

Gissou Nia: The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

ISHR has decided to publish a series of profiles of representatives of non-governmental organisations fighting to obtain ECOSOC consultative status to the UN through the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs. Consultative status is required to attend and participate in many UN meetings, including those of the Human Rights Council. We hope these profiles will help expose the Committee's dysfunction, share the struggles of human rights defenders that are repeatedly blocked from bringing their experiences and insights on critical issues to policy-making at the UN, and ultimately help secure consultative status to the UN for these credible NGOs carrying out important and valuable human rights work. 

Belen Paez: Director of the Pachamama Foundation (Fundación Pachamama, Ecuador)

Over the past 16 years, the Pachamama Foundation has been working for the conservation of tropical forests and the respect of the rights of indigenous communities. We have supported more than 30 communities, working for the recognition and respect of their rights. As part of achieving this, we have advocated for legislative advances, most notably successfully lobbying in 2008 for the inclusion of the rights to nature in the Constitution. Ecuador is the first country in the world ever to do so.

Join us

Don’t miss out on our latest vital work in human rights