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.
People and communities flourish in societies that respect human rights and the rule of law. This requires an environment characterised by a vibrant and independent civil society, laws that protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, institutions and processes that enable public participation, governments that are representative and accountable, and mechanisms that provide remedy and redress for injustice. Human rights defenders play a vital role in the establishment and maintenance of such an environment, and are often among those that are first silenced or attacked when authoritarian or illiberal governments or unscrupulous corporations move to dismantle democratic institutions and the rule of law.
Through this programme, ISHR provides solidarity and support to defenders working in deteriorating environments where there is a need to safeguard democratic institutions and accountability mechanisms, as well as those working in environments where there is an opportunity to strengthen human rights defenders protection laws and mechanisms.