On 7 September 2021, the International Service for Human Rights facilitated a multi-stakeholder dialogue with United Nations experts, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to discuss about Business, Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders.
Together we made a significant contribution last year towards a world that is more fair, just and equal. A world where human rights defenders are better recognised, enabled and protected. Thank you for being such an important part of ISHR’s work. Today, ISHR is thrilled to invite you to discover our latest annual report, outlining our key impacts during the last year and our vision for 2021 and the years ahead.
Human rights defenders are people who, whether individually or in association with others, promote and protect the human rights of others. They are people who act with humanity, serve humanity and bring out the best in humanity.
Defenders are at the heart of ISHR’s work. Throughout 2020 we supported human rights defenders, strengthened laws and systems for their protection, and contributed to a safe and enabling environment for their vital work at the national, regional and international levels.
What did we achieve in 2020?
We developed a new five-year Strategic Framework setting out the ways in which we will support and act in solidarity with defenders.
Our work, and that of defenders, contributed to achieving the following Sustainable Development Goals:
Here are just a few examples of our collective impact in 2020:
We would like to thank you for your support to ISHR and the defenders with whom we work. Your contributions are vital to our collective human rights impact and success. Now more than ever, we need people who serve humanity. Thank you for supporting ISHR.
Phil Lynch – Executive Director
Vrinda Grover – Chair of the ISHR Board
PS. We’d love you to share our annual report with friends and colleagues who share your passion for human rights and who might be interested in supporting ISHR to achieve human rights impact and change!
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Illustration credits: Images adapted from artworks by Anina Takeff and Rozalina Burkova
under a Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA)
This week in an online event, 10 candidate States publicly spoke to an audience of around 200 people on their pledges as incoming Human Rights Council members for 2022 – 2024. They also faced questions on pressing human rights issues from both States and civil society organisations.
ISHR welcomes the Council’s historic consensus decision, led by the Africa Group, to adopt a resolution mandating an independent international expert mechanism to address systemic racism and to promote racial justice and equality for Africans and people of African descent. The adoption of this resolution is testament to the resilience, bravery and commitment of victims, their families, their representatives and anti-racism defenders globally.
At the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, ISHR along with the Informal Sector Service Center presented a joint statement in Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review expressing concern about the situation of human rights defenders in the country.
Faced with the appropriation of their name, Peruvian NGO Madres en Acción is pushing back, filing a legal action to recover it. In an amicus brief in support of the action, ISHR argues that trademark law is being used to attack defenders and this must stop.
Should businesses advocate for human rights defenders? What is the relationship between companies’ economic activities and civil society? The United Nations, through the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, has shed further light on the role of businesses by recently releasing a guidance for companies on ensuring respect for human rights defenders.
A new ISHR report maps China’s presence and influence in the UN economic and social affairs system, highlighting potential risks for civil society participation and the promotion and protection of human rights.
With three more human rights defenders detained arbitrarily in recent days, once again the Human Rights Council was asked to do more to put pressure on Venezuela to allow dissenting voices in the country to be heard. Independent civil society makes a critical contribution to the construction of societies built on the respect of human rights.
In the first case on violence against trans people heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Court held Honduras responsible for the transfemicide of human rights defender Vicky Hernández.
Public servants, journalists, and indigenous defenders have suffered targeting and reprisals from an increasingly brazen government, confirming the urgent need to adopt legal mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders.
ISHR, along with 23 organisations, highlight attacks and targeting of trans and gender diverse defenders; the Independent Expert on SOGI examines the construction of gender in international law, a Group of Friends of the mandate of the Independent Expert is formed; and 27 States call on the Council to urgently protect the human rights of trans people.
In a statement at the Human Rights Council, ISHR welcomed the UN Working Group’s recently released Guidance document for using the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for engaging with, safeguarding and ensuring respect for the rights of Human Rights Defenders. Human rights defenders are at the forefront of protecting their communities, the environment and key natural resources that maintain the balance in our planet.