ISHR delivered a statement at the 54th session of the HRC, urging UN member States not to vote for Burundi, China and Russia as they are not fit to sit at the Human Rights Council.
At the 54th session of the Human Rights Council, during the debate on Sudan, Nahlla Yousif, woman human rights defender from Darfur, delivered a joint statement on behalf of ISHR, Sudanese Women Rights Action, Future for Enlightenment and Development Organization and WHRDMENA Coalition.
In October, States at the UN General Assembly are due to vote to elect 15 incoming members (of the total 47 seats) to the UN Human Rights Council, and 17 countries, including Russia, China and Burundi, are running for election.
After a two-month online course and over ten intense days in-person in Geneva, sixteen dedicated human rights defenders participating in ISHR’s 2023 Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP23) exchanged experiences, strengthened their skills, put them into practice, and built a network of allies in Geneva and across the globe.
At the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Benin, ISHR and Changement Social Benin delivered a joint statement encouraging Benin to do more for the protection of defenders in the country.
At the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Zambia, ISHR, the Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolutions of Disputes and the Zambia Human Rights Defenders Network delivered a joint statement calling on Zambia to revise its legal instruments and adopt an adequate legal framework to ensure defenders can work in a safe environment without fear of reprisals.
During the enhanced interactive dialogue on 19 June 2023 with the High Commissioner and the designated Expert on Sudan, ISHR, Sudanese Women Rights Action (SURWA), and WHRDMENA Coalition delivered a joint statement drawing attention to the deteriorating situation in Sudan.
On 15 June 2022, the National Assembly of Niger passed a law on the rights and duties of human rights defenders. This makes Niger the fourth African country to adopt such a law. However, for the law to produce the desired effects, it must be widely known and understood by all stakeholders. The establishment of an independent and inclusive protection mechanism will ensure the full implementation of the law.
The adoption of the draft law approving the status of Non-Governmental Organisation in Angola by the National Assembly considerably limits in its provisions the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms and shrinks civic and democratic space. We are calling the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders to help address this situation.
Civil society organisations and groups urge the international community to take action responding to the ongoing war in Sudan and ensure protection of refugees and internally displaced persons including women and women human rights defenders.
On 12 May, the Republic of Zambia presented its State report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’). Commissioners raised various questions related to the rights of human rights defenders, including the right to freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of assembly and association.
On 10 May, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’) organised a panel discussion on the reform process of the judicial and quasi-judicial organs of the African Union. Commissioners of the African Commission, Solomon Ayele Dersso and Litha Musyimi-Ogana, and Ibrahim Kane stated their views on the proposed reform.