On 8 December 2023, the UN Human Rights Council (the Council) announced that a vote is expected in January 2024, possibly on 10 January 2024, to elect the Council’s President for the 18th cycle in 2024 from the Africa Group. The State representatives who have put forward their candidacies are Morocco and South Africa. In a joint letter, NGOs urge all members of the Council to elect the Council President based on Council membership criteria.
ISHR’s #EndReprisals database offers a platform where all cases included in the Secretary-General’s reports since 2010 are readily accessible, with detailed information on each case, including the activities of the affected groups or individual defenders, the kind of reprisals they suffered and how these were triggered.
With this database, users can more easily navigate the information contained in the Secretary-General’s reports, and research, analyse, and take action on the cases or situations so that together we can #EndReprisals.
In considering human rights situations around the world, the UN system is profoundly dependent on the crucial information and testimonies provided by human rights defenders and civil society organisations who document situations, abuses and violations. These groups and individuals are essential voices who represent communities that need to be part of the conversations at the UN.
However, many defenders still face unacceptable risks and are unable to cooperate safely with the UN. Each year, the Secretary-General prepares a report that documents acts of intimidation and reprisals aimed at instilling fear or preventing activists and human rights advocates from engaging with the UN, or at punishing those who have spoken to UN and other international bodies.
The #EndReprisals database will also contribute to ISHR’s activities aimed at ensuring that international and regional human rights systems have the mechanisms to prevent reprisals and ensure accountability where they occur. ISHR provides protective publicity to human rights defenders at risk and works to bring cases of alleged intimidation and reprisals to the attention of relevant officials in an effort to press for effective preventative measures and responses.
ISHR joins forces with global civil society groups in a joint appeal at the Human Rights Council for enhanced, inclusive, and secure civil society participation in human rights dialogues. Read the full statement here.
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.