ISHR and HRCnet are pleased to be hosting an online welcome meeting with Ambassador Federico Villegas, the incoming President of the Human Rights Council and former president Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan.
"States have the obligation to respect defenders, to provide them with security, to heed their calls and to consider that we are people who support the most vulnerable sectors of society, and that this is a contribution to democratic life."
Are you a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change at home? If so, apply to the 2022 edition of ISHR’s flagship training the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP).
Here at ISHR we have a custom of starting all staff meetings by sharing our inspirations. The inspiration might be something deeply personal, like the resilience of a loved one recovering from illness, something local, like the renaming of a Geneva street to honour a feminist activist, or something work-related, like the release of a human rights defender from arbitrary detention following a concerted global campaign.
More than 30 organisations from around the globe unite to protect human rights defenders. The Esperanza Protocol is endorsed by a number of UN experts and former rapporteurs of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Since 2020, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has been holding its public sessions virtually. For the first time, the 69th session which took place from 15 November 2021 to 5 December 2021 was held in a hybrid format with all Commissioners participating from Dakar, Senegal and participants joining online.
In a rare and unwelcome move, Nicaragua has escaped scrutiny from two UN human rights Committees. By choosing to skip both scheduled reviews, and simultaneously ignoring decisions from a regional human rights court, Nicaragua sends a defying message to the international community, and a confirmation of its intentions to hide a problematic human rights record domestically.
Since 1994, the Martin Ennals Award honours human rights defenders from around the world who show exceptional commitment to promoting fundamental rights, often at the risk of their own lives. For the 2022 edition, the Jury selected three activists who, through their courage, unfailing hope and strategic approaches, inspired others to take up human rights. Their identities will be revealed on 19 January 2022 during an online press conference. The Martin Ennals Award Laureates 2022 will be honoured during a hybrid ceremony co-hosted by the City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation on 10 February 2022.
In Africa, more and more defenders are working in an environment marked by the shrinking of civic and democratic space and severe restrictions of fundamental freedoms, especially during pre- and post-electoral crisis and more recently the fallout of the health crisis linked to Covid-19.
Strengthening the collaboration between human rights defenders and international human rights protection mechanisms is important to ensure effective protection of human rights and the rights of human rights defenders.