Supporting human rights defenders and achieving human rights change: ISHR's 2013 Annual Report

For 30 years ISHR has worked tirelessly and tenaciously to support human rights defenders and to make international and regional human rights systems more accessible and effective as levers for change. Even by these high standards, 2013 was a year of profound impact.

We’re delighted to present our 2013 Annual Report.

For 30 years ISHR has worked tirelessly and tenaciously to support human rights defenders and to make international and regional human rights systems more accessible and effective as levers for change.

Even by these high standards, 2013 was a year of profound impact.

Working in partnership with human rights activists, non-governmental organisations and progressive States, we secured the adoption of the UN’s first ever resolution on women human rights defenders and spearheaded efforts for the Human Rights Council to adopt landmark resolutions on the prevention of reprisals and the expansion of civil society space.

Building on decades of expertise, we provided intensive training and advocacy support to human rights defenders at risk from all over the world, from China to Cote d’Ivoire. Our work with defenders from Syria helped focus the international community’s attention on war crimes and crimes against humanity in that country. Similarly, our efforts to bring eleven gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists from around the world to Geneva ensured that diplomats and decision-makers heard first-hand evidence of the extent and impacts of homophobic violence and discrimination.

We’re proud of our achievements in 2013, but with your generous support in 2014 – our 30th anniversary year – we’ll do even more to protect human rights defenders and achieve human rights change.

With a worsening incidence of attacks against those who expose and ensure accountability for corporate human rights violations, our agenda-setting advocacy will put the protection of human rights defenders at the core of the business and human rights framework.

Throughout 2014 we’ll roll out an ambitious project to develop a model national law for human rights defenders. The legal recognition and protection of human rights defenders is a critical factor contributing to their safety and security. ISHR’s model law will help ensure that the international Declaration on Human Rights Defenders – the 1998 adoption of which was the culmination of over a decade of relentless ISHR advocacy – is effectively implemented at the national level.

We’ll also provide our unique high quality training to a new generation of human rights defenders and experts. ISHR’s training alumni include the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association, Burkina Faso’s Minister for Human Rights, and the directors of leading human rights organisations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2014 we’ll build on this legacy, expanding ISHR’s contribution to the development of international and regional human rights systems and networks.

None of this is possible without the support of people like you who are committed to human rights and the protection of the brave people who defend them. Thank you for being such an important part of ISHR’s work to support human rights defenders, strengthen human rights systems and achieve human rights change.

Philip Lynch
Director

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