As the year end looms, ISHR executive director Phil Lynch shares reflections on the context in which we operate, the importance of applying a principled, non-discriminatory approach to human rights, and the crucial work of defenders.
On 21 November, ISHR celebrated the vital work of human rights defenders at a conference on 'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Seventy-Five Years On: Achievements and Current Challenges.' A slightly shortened version of our speech is reproduced below.
The DRC has become the fifth country in Africa and the first in Central Africa to adopt a legal instrument for the promotion and protection of human rights defenders. Though some provisions are contrary to international protection standards, if effectively implemented, this new law should help create an enabling working environment for defenders.
The 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council (11 Sep - 13 Oct) will consider issues including reprisals, arbitrary detention, systemic racism, enforced disappearances, water and sanitation, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and people of African descent. It will also present an opportunity to address grave situations in over a dozen States. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
The 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 27 February – 4 April 2023, will consider issues including the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of religion or belief, protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, the right to food and adequate housing, among others. It will also present an opportunity to address grave human rights situations in States including Nicaragua, Venezuela, China, Syria, South Sudan, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.
For the first time since 2019, the NGO Forum ahead of the ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), was held in person in Banjul on 17 and 18 October. This session’s discussions focused on human rights and governance in Africa: a multi-dimensional approach in addressing conflict, crisis and inequality.
After three years of online sessions, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission) resumed in person sessions. The 73rd session was held from 20 October to 9 November 2022 in Banjul, The Gambia. This session was marked by the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Commission.
On 22 October the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), Agir Ensemble pour les Droits Humains (AEDH), Tournons la Page, Synergie Ukingo Wetu (SUWE) and SOS Information Juridique Multi Sectorielle (SOS-IJM) organised a side event on the state of civic space in Africa and how to better protect it.
ISHR registered to deliver a statement on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa during the 73th session of the African Commission. It highlighted progress in drafting and enacting legislation to protect human rights defenders and expressed concern about reprisals and the impact of unconstitutional changes of government on protecting of human rights defenders
The Law on the Rights and Duties of human rights defenders adopted by Niger reaffirms the State's commitment to reinforce the protection of defenders and the role played by human rights defenders in Niger. Its effective implementation should help create an enabling working environment for defenders.