HRDAP | APPLY NOW FOR ISHR'S 2020 TRAINING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!
We are calling for applications for our flagship Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme in 2020 – the extensive training programme for human rights defenders. So if you are a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change at home, apply now!
LIBERIA | UN RECOMMENDATIONS: A TOOL FOR PROGRESS FOR LGBT PERSONS
For recommendations by UN mechanisms to improve the lives of people on the ground, human rights defenders must push for implementation at the national level. ISHR & LEGAL worked with defenders from across Liberia to map out strategies to turn UN recommendations on LGBT issues into reality.
FIJI | END THE HARASSMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Human rights defenders in Fiji live in fear of harassment, threats and arbitrary arrests. As part of its Universal Periodic Review, ISHR and Rainbow Pride Foundation called on the Fiji Government to protect defenders and repeal legislation restricting their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
EGYPT | LET HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WORK FOR A BETTER FUTURE
Human rights defenders work so everyone can be treated fairly, live safely and with dignity. In return, the Egyptian authorities are arresting, detaining, torturing and disappearing defenders, closing down their organisations, freezing their assets, and banning them from travelling. We urge States to make recommendations to Egypt on the situation of defenders and to make advanced questions to Egypt on individual victims of reprisals.
ANGOLA | STOP HARASSING DEFENDERS USING THEIR RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY
As part of the UPR process, a review of Angola human rights record is scheduled to take place on 7 November 2019. The pre-session allowed civil society to directly address State delegations and facilitated the possibility for diplomatic delegations to ascertain information on Angola’s human rights records.
CHINA | DROP 'SUBVERSION' CHARGE AND RELEASE WOMAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER CHEN JIANFANG
ISHR joins the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders and other international human rights NGOs to urge the Chinese government to drop the 'subversion of State power' charges against woman human rights defender Chen Jianfang (陈建芳), and release her immediately and unconditionally. Chen has spent over six months in incommunicado detention and now likely faces a lengthy prison sentence.
UNGA74 | STATES MUST PUT AN END TO IMPUNITY FOR REPRISALS AGAINST DEFENDERS
In his last ever address to the General Assembly as Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst made key recommendations to State and non-State actors and called for human rights defenders to be protected, and for authors of attacks and reprisals to be brought before justice.
UNGA74 | 71 COUNTRIES MAKE FIRST JOINT STATEMENT ON REPRISALS AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE
In an unprecedented move, a cross-regional group of countries called on all States and the UN to prevent, respond to, and ensure accountability for cases of intimidation and reprisals against those who engage or seek to engage with the UN.
HRC ELECTIONS | STATES VOTE VENEZUELA ONTO THE UN'S HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Venezuela has been voted onto the Human Rights Council by one of the smallest ever majorities, along with Brazil. Costa Rica – who put forward their candidacy only two weeks ago – was narrowly beaten. All new members, including Venezuela, must now work to live up to the human rights standards that membership demands.
UNGA74 | BACHELET URGES STATES TO STEP UP DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS VALUES AND SYSTEM
Michelle Bachelet addressed the General Assembly for the second year in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights on 15 October 2019. Following calls at last year’s interactive dialogue for the reinstatement of the High Commissioner’s yearly report for the General Assembly, this year Bachelet presented her latest report (A/74/36) before a packed Third Committee.
UNGA74 | CIVIL SOCIETY PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN PROMOTING SOCIAL INCLUSION OF LGBT PEOPLE
In presenting his report to the UN Third Committee, the Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity discussed strategies and recommendations to promote the social inclusion of LGBT people.
UNGA74 | FAILURE TO DEFINE THE PHRASE 'HATE SPEECH' IS SILENCING HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye addressed the UN General Assembly on how exploitation of the term ‘hate speech’ has been used to limit lawful expression. The Special Rapporteur gave recommendations to States on moderating speech both online and offline.
UNGA 74 | STATES MUST PROMOTE CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT TO PROPEL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ERADICATE POVERTY
The Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule addressed the UN General Assembly on the closing of civic space globally and its negative impact on the achievement of development goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ACHPR65 | ENDING INTIMIDATION AND REPRISALS AGAINST THOSE COOPERATING WITH REGIONAL MECHANISMS IN AFRICA
The free engagement of individuals and groups with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is critical to its efficiency and effectiveness. However, in recent years there has been increased concern at the threats, intimidation and reprisals experienced by human rights activists and defenders willing and trying to engage with the Commission.
NGO FORUM | SAFE BUT NOT SILENT: CHALLENGES, RESILIENCE STRATEGIES AND PROTECTION OF DISPLACED DEFENDERS
Restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms have continuously forced human rights defenders to flee their place of residence to avoid threats and reprisals as a consequence of their human rights work. Defenders who have been forced into exile do not necessarily end up being safer and still face challenges to be able to continue their work in an enabling environment.
A vibrant civil society is a crucial element of a democratic society. Members of civil society are the ones calling out States when governments stop working for the people and start working against them.
According to article 62 of the African Charter, States have the obligation to report every two years on the legislative, administrative and political measures taken with a view to give effect to human rights guaranteed by the Charter. Chad, which ratified the Charter in 1986, was one of the two countries to be reviewed during this session.
ACHPR65 | CONTRACTS WITH EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES MUST CONTRIBUTE TO COMMUNITIES' WELLBEING IN AFRICA
States and multinationals must review their policies and commitments when signing contracts with extractive industries to ensure they contribute in building development infrastructure with positive impacts on communities’ wellbeing. Revenues and gains derived from these agreements must ensure greater security and respect of the rights of the people.
ACHPR 65 | THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIC SPACE IN ACHIEVING THE 2030 AND 2063 AGENDAS
Civil society organisations have a key role to play in achieving both global and regional sustainable development goals. During an event at the 65th session of the African Commission, a fundamental question was discussed: What are the linkages between the UN sustainable development goals and the African Union 2063 agenda, and how can a human rights-based approach contribute to implementing them?
RESOURCE | NEW TREATY BODIES STRATEGIC LITIGATION TOOLKIT
ILGA World launched the first toolkit focusing on strategic litigation with the UN Treaty Bodies and on individual communications to this human rights mechanism. The toolkit is available in English and in Spanish. A must-read for anyone interested in this topic!
TREATY BODIES | STRENGTHENING TREATY BODIES, PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
In 2020, the United Nations will review the functioning of the ten human rights treaty bodies. OpenGlobalRights and ISHR are publishing a series of op-eds to stimulate more discussion on ways to improve the work of the treaty bodies.
TREATY BODIES | NEW NGO PROPOSALS ON THE 2020 REVIEW
In two new joint public calls, NGOs are calling on States to provide suitable funding to the UN treaty bodies, and proposing a model for enhanced predictability and coordination of treaty body reviews.