At a strategic consultation in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders adopted its 2024 Action Plan to enhance support for defenders amid shrinking civic space and heightened State focus on terrorism.
On 30 August 2022, the UN Human Rights Office concluded that the Chinese State may be responsible for committing crimes against humanity, in a report on human rights in the Uyghur region (Xinjiang). One year later, global pressure on Beijing remains high, ahead of a major UN human rights review in January.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights concluded its 77th Ordinary Session held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania from 20 October to 9 November 2023. During the session, the Commission renewed its Bureau. It received solemn declarations from elected and re-elected members and launched several documents and newsletters, among others.
The Environmental Rights Agreement Coalition called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to develop an environmental rights agreement to increase public participation and protect environmental rights defenders.
To strengthen the protection of the environment and those who defend it, ISHR has joined the Environmental Regional Agreement Coalition in calling on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to initiate the development of an environmental rights instrument.
In its statement before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ISHR denounced the adoption of restrictive civic space laws and requested the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals (‘the Special Rapporteur’) to release his first reprisals report.
ISHR has joined dozens of national, regional and international NGOs expressing concern at the attempts of the government to restrict the right to protest of Guatemalan human rights defenders.
During the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Bahraini women human rights defenders urged members to uphold their obligations toward the hundreds of political prisoners in Bahrain and pressure their government for their immediate release.
The United States took a stance at the United Nations General Assembly and mentioned specific cases and situations of reprisals during the dialogue with Assistant Secretary-General Ilze Brands Kehris, including cases ISHR had actively campaigned for.
ISHR and Freedom House hosted a group of young defenders from the diaspora for a training on UN human rights mechanisms and joint advocacy meetings in Geneva during the week of 10 September.
13 countries took a stance and cited specific cases and situations of reprisals and intimidation in ten different countries and territories, including cases ISHR has campaigned for, during the Interactive Dialogue on reprisals at the Human Rights Council’s 54th session.
When debating the contents of the annual UN report on reprisals against human rights defenders, several States cited in the document refuse to acknowledge their own responsibilities of protecting defenders from intimidation and attacks.