Picture of a scale symbolising Law and Justice

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Model Law

A Model Law was developed in collaboration with over 500 defenders from every region by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) over a three year period. It was settled and adopted by 28 of the world's leading human rights experts and jurists in 2016.

The legal recognition and protection of defenders is crucial to ensuring that they can work in a safe, supportive environment and be free from attacks, reprisals and unreasonable restrictions.

A ‘Model National Law on the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders’ is intended to guide and assist states and other actors to ensure the full and effective implementation of the ‘Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ (the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders) at the national level.

ISHR’s Model Law is available in several languages in our resource section.

National protection Map for Human Rights Defenders

National protection Map for Human Rights Defenders

This interactive map shows developments in national legal instruments for human rights defenders. It intends to complement existing resources on human rights defender protection, and provide a short summarised comparison of each instrument to the Model Law.