Without human rights defenders, there are no human rights. At the local, national, regional and international levels, defenders are mobilising around issues such as environmental justice, racial justice, gender equality, freedom of expression and association, access to information, democratic representation and participation.
Because of their work, and because they speak truth to power, defenders may be threatened, harassed, detained or even killed by repressive governments or non-State actors.
At ISHR, we work to protect and promote people who defend the rights of women, LGBTIQ+ persons, migrants and Indigenous communities. We work with progressive companies to make sure that human rights defenders are included in decisions that affect them and benefit from the civic space they share with businesses. We support defenders who promote democratic freedoms and accountability, especially in restrictive and/or transitioning environments.
To better serve human rights interests, we have established programmes, focus topics and strategic regions of intervention. Our Programmes have been set up to amplify the voices of human rights defenders and provide them with the best tools to increase their impact and reach their goals. Our Focus Topics represent the areas where ISHR is placing great emphasis.