What we do

The International Service for Human Rights is committed to human rights in a comprehensive and holistic manner. Here is how we achieve impact.

We support and act in solidarity with human rights defenders in their work for freedom, dignity, equality, justice and other fundamental values at the international, regional and national levels.

Our approach to supporting human rights work is based on three core pillars:

1. Supporting human rights defenders

ISHR provides human rights defenders with strategic and tailored advice on how to best use the international and regional human rights mechanisms available to them. We provide comprehensive training, information products and advocacy support, ranging from narrative advice to legal advice.

We play an influential role on the ground to ensure the implementation of international standards and resolutions in relation with human rights defenders through our extensive expertise and strong partnerships with national human rights organisations and networks.

We build, coordinate and mobilise powerful partnerships for human rights change through our strong relationships with leading governments, progressive companies and human rights NGOs. For example, we act as the secretariat for HRCnet and as co-convenor of the Business Network on Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders.

2. Promoting rights and accountability

Our unparalleled experience at the UN and with regional bodies allows us to rapidly and strategically use those mechanisms to prevent violations and attacks against human rights defenders and to ensure justice and accountability where they occur.

We work to ensure that States respect and protect human rights defenders and fulfil their human rights obligations at the international, regional and national levels, enabling and promoting their work. We also work to ensure that businesses and other non-State actors respect human rights and contribute to a safe and enabling environment for defenders where they operate or have influence

3. Strengthening human rights laws and systems

Our expert policy research and advocacy, together with our access to high-level decision-makers and diplomats within the UN and regional systems, help make those systems more accessible, effective and protective for human rights defenders and the victims they represent.

We work to ensure that international and regional human rights laws and mechanisms are accessible to human rights defenders and responsive to their demands, and are effective and influential in promoting, protecting and contributing to the realisation of human rights and accountability for violations and abuses