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International accountability

ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working in highly restrictive or repressive environments, and undertakes lobbying, advocacy and litigation to promote both State and non-State accountability for widespread and systematic threats, attacks, restrictions and reprisals against defenders.

For many human rights defenders, international and regional human rights laws and mechanisms have the potential to protect and amplify their work and impact on the ground. Indeed, for many defenders working in restrictive or repressive national contexts – such as China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – regional and international mechanisms may be among the only platforms available to demand justice, push for accountability, and contribute to positive change. 

Civil society and diplomatic allies can also use such mechanisms to increase international pressure for change, such as the release of arbitrarily detained defenders, the repeal of restrictive laws and policies, or accountability for acts of intimidation and reprisals against defenders. 

Through this programme, ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working in highly restrictive or repressive environments, and undertakes lobbying, advocacy and litigation to ensure that defenders are safe and free and to promote both State and non-State accountability for widespread and systematic threats, attacks, restrictions and reprisals against defenders.

Latest updates

Read our latest news on international accountability.

UN anti-torture bodies condemn Nicaragua, after it dodges six UN reviews

The two independent UN anti-torture expert bodies, the Committee Against Torture and its Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, publicly 'deplored Nicaragua's refusal to cooperate', and publish confidential report in an unprecedented move. Over the past year, Nicaragua has refused to undergo reviews by six UN committees on torture, women's rights, racial discrimination, civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights.

Sudan: Stop escalation of violence against women - protect them!

As we celebrate the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and WHRDs Day during the 16 days of activism to End Violence Against Women, we salute the courageous Sudanese women fighting for freedom and equality. We stand in solidarity with their struggle for democratic change, justice and peace.

China must release Uyghurs, end grave violations, rules UN committee

In landmark ruling, the UN’s committee on racial discrimination has strongly condemned China’s persecution of Uyghurs, and decided, for the first time ever,  to refer the situation to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect. Reiterating the most serious concerns expressed by the UN’s Human Rights Office and UN independent experts, the committee reminded governments of their obligation to put an end to the most serious human rights violations wherever they occur, in particular racial discrimination.

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