Futures thinking encourages us to identify small ‘signals of change’ which might help to identify and influence the futures that come to pass. At ISHR we’ve identified and, together with advocates and activists from around the world, helped contribute to a number of small but significant signals of positive human rights change in recent weeks.
Opening the 48th Session of the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner addressed the climate change crisis “as the single greatest challenge to human rights of our era.” Responding to the High Commissioner’s global update on human rights at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, ISHR joined the High Commissioner’s call for leadership on environmental justice by Human Rights Council Members.
Addressing the Council, ISHR called on the Council to “respond urgently to the environmental crisis, as well as to the repeated calls by diverse States and civil society by recognising the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and by establishing a new Special Rapporteur on climate change.”
ISHR further urged the Council to “recognise the critical role of environmental human rights defenders in addressing climate change and safeguarding biodiversity, contribute to their enhanced protection, and pursue accountability against those State and non-State actors who attack and kill defenders.”
On Afghanistan, ISHR called for an “independent investigative mechanism of Afghanistan with a gender-responsive and multi-year mandate and resources to monitor and regularly report on, and to collect evidence of, human rights violations and abuses committed across the country by all parties.”
ISHR also noted the High Commissioner’s update “that no progress has been made for meaningful access to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.” ISHR repeated its calls for public monitoring and reporting on this situation undertaken with the full engagement of civil society.
Finally, in relation to Nicaragua, ISHR called on the Council to monitor the ongoing repression of defenders and any form of dissent ahead of the election on November 7. ISHR has noted that the Government of Nicaragua has yet to implement Resolution 46/2, and called for the creation of an international accountability mechanism on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua.
The 8th meeting of the Business Network on Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders brought together civil society, private sector and experts to discuss how companies can use their leverage for a positive change in the civic space
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.
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.
To date, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ (the African Commission) recommendations to the Kenyan Government on reparations for the eviction of Endorois indigenous people from their ancestral lands in the 1970s remain largely unimplemented. On 13 April 2021, the NGO Forum met to discuss the status of the implementation of the African Commission’s 2010 decision 276/2003 on the rights of the Endorois people.
It's difficult to encapsulate such a complex year in a word, but "interconnected" is one that comes to mind when reflecting on 2020. We are proud to have remained deeply interconnected with defenders and to have supported, protected and amplified their work at the national, regional and international levels. With them, the "essential workers" of our times, we strive for a 2021 full of freedom, equality, dignity and justice.
Building back better requires new sustainable production systems. However, energy transition should not be encouraged at the expense of human rights or harm to local communities. The transition towards renewable energy sources has become a threat to human rights, with increasing attacks to human rights defenders.
16 organisations* share reflections on the key outcomes of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the missed opportunities to address key issues and situations including pushbacks and other human rights violations faced by migrants and refugees, and the human rights situations in Algeria, Cameroon, China, India, Kashmir and the Philippines. A shortened version was delivered at the Council. Full written version below.
Cooperation to enhance development or eradicate poverty is not and cannot be a substitute for scrutiny of human rights, or conducted in the absence of accountability
The 'Mayan Train', a touristic train cutting across numerous areas of rich environmental and cultural diversity in Eastern Mexico, may sound like a fancy development project. But what the shiny brochure doesn't display are the terrible consequences for the indigenous communities who call this area home, and for the environment. Six UN experts have addressed those in a letter to the Government, raising expectations of a meaningful commitment by Mexico, as a re-elected member of the Human Rights Council, to address human rights concerns and protect defenders.
We are excited to share the launch of two new briefings that provide guidance for institutional investors and companies on how to respect the rights of human rights defenders.
Following a seven year legal battle, the Guatemalan Criminal Court acquitted Pascual and recognised that the defense of human rights should not be criminalised.