ISHR's Pooja Patel speaking at the Human Rights Council

Pooja Patel speaking at the Human Rights Council


Through our programmes, we support and act in solidarity with human rights defenders, contributing to a world that is fair, just and peaceful, in which all people can live free and equal, in communities that are diverse and inclusive.

ISHR’s programmes provide support and solidarity to human rights defenders working on the following issues, which we recognise as intersectional and interdependent:

  • Equality, dignity and non-discrimination
  • Environmental justice and sustainability
  • Accountability for the repression of human rights defenders
  • Transparency and the rule of law

Each of our programmes uses a range of integrated tactics, developed and implemented in partnership with defenders and their organisations, networks and coalitions at the national, regional and international levels. These tactics include:

  • Training, capacity building, strategic advice, advocacy support and fellowships for human rights defenders
  • Legislative and policy research, advocacy and advice
  • Strategic litigation and interventions
  • Narrative development, campaigning and mobilisation
  • Coalition and movement building and coordination, including acting as secretariat for UNARC and as co-convenor of the Business Network on Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders

Collectively, ISHR’s programmes and tactics contribute to ensuring that we achieve our strategic goals that:

  1. Human rights defenders are equipped, connected, supported and influential
  2. States, businesses and other non-State actors respect and protect human rights defenders
  3. Human rights laws and mechanisms are accessible, responsive and effective

Equality, dignity and non-discrimination

ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working on issues of equality and non-discrimination.

Environmental justice and sustainability

ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working on issues of environmental justice, corporate responsibility and accountability, and sustainable and inclusive development.

International accountability

ISHR undertakes lobbying, advocacy and litigation to promote both State and non-State accountability for widespread and systematic threats, attacks, restrictions and reprisals against defenders.

Transparency and rule of law

ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working to promote transparency, to combat corruption, and to safeguard and strengthen laws and institutions.

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