We're thrilled to announce the release of our 2016 Annual Report
ISHR shares a vision with the global community of human rights defenders. It is a vision of truly representative and accountable government, free from corruption and repression; of justice and the rule of law, free from impunity and arbitrary arrest or detention; of responsible business and sustainable development, free from human exploitation and environmental degradation; and of gender equality and empowerment, free from violence and discrimination.
Tragically, not everyone embraces this vision. Corrupt and authoritarian governments maintain power and control through censorship and repression. Religious extremists justify homophobia and the subjugation of women by reference to cultural values and traditions. Unscrupulous corporations profiteer at the expense of impoverished communities. And perpetrators of human rights violations evade justice and accountability at any cost.
Human rights defenders challenge these powerful interests – interests with the motivation and means to put up a brutal fight – and in doing so they face grave risks. They suffer defamation and smear campaigns when they speak up; excessive force when they protest; strangling regulation and closure when they associate and organise; arbitrary detention when they expose injustice; and disappearance or even death when they demand accountability.
It is the importance of defenders’ work and the gravity of threats they face that makes the mission of ISHR so vital. Armed with a strong theory of change – supported by over 30 years of research, frontline experience and a proven track record – ISHR protects human rights defenders from risks and reprisals, provides them with an international platform and advocacy tools to expose and counter powerful interests, and connects them with allies who can help them to thrive.
There is reason to be proud of the impact ISHR has had over the last year: with your support, we have trained and assisted more than 150 human rights defenders from 70 countries; substantially strengthened international, regional and national laws and mechanisms for defenders’ protection; helped secure justice for defenders and their release from arbitrary detention; and built coalitions with the capacity to successfully challenge powerful interests.
This annual report is a record of these impacts, which would have been impossible without you – fellow defenders, decision-makers, diplomats and donors who share our vision and who contribute the resources, expertise and influence necessary to make it a reality.
Thank you for sharing this vision and for supporting ISHR and the defenders with whom we work. Your contributions are vital to our collective human rights impact and success.
Rosemary McCreery - Chairperson
Phil Lynch - Director