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What We Do
Tuesday, 20 November 2007 09:12


Our activities can be divided into four broad areas of work:



You may also view our Annual Reports, Audit Reports, and Strategic and Action Plan to gain a more in-depth understanding of what we do. 

Analytical and practical information for human rights defenders

We monitor, analyse, and report on the developments within the UN human rights system to allow human rights defenders worldwide to follow and actively use the system. We also provide practical information and resources to make it easier for defenders to access the system. Our flagship publication is the Human Rights Monitor, an annual review of the developments in the international human rights system.


We also produce the Human Rights Monitor Quarterly, guides on the UN system, and news articles on current developments in the UN and regional human right systems.


To sign up to receive our news updates and reports by e-mail please subscribe here and to browse the full range of ISHR's publications, please go to the Publications section.

Training on using international human rights mechanisms

Since 1987, ISHR has been running an annual Geneva Training Course (GTC) in International Human Rights Law and Advocacy to empower experienced human rights defenders from all regions of the world in the use of international human rights mechanisms. We have organised such trainings in Geneva for French and Arabic-speaking defenders, and we also offer an advanced four-week training in English during the period of the main session of the Human Rights Council. In November, parallel to the sessions of two treaty bodies (CAT and CESCR), a two-week training focusing on the treaty monitoring bodies is held in English. We also conduct other shorter training courses during the year around important international meetings in Geneva. To date, more than 600 human rights defenders have been trained in Geneva. Each year, we also carry out in-region and in-country training courses for human rights defenders working on the ground.


Full descriptions of the different courses in Geneva and in countries, and regular updates and calls for application are posted in the Capacity Building section.

Working with human rights defenders in countries

ISHR has developed a leading role in promoting and supporting the mandate and work of the UN Special Representative on human rights defenders; fostering the development and implementation of specific regional protection mechanisms; and helping to bridge the gap between the UN Special Representative and other relevant UN mechanisms and the regional human rights systems in the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacfic, and other regions.


We actively promote the strengthening of active and sustainable networks of human rights activists; facilitate the organisation of international, regional, and national consultations of NGOs, national human rights institutions, and other stakeholders on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders; work with NGOs, national human rights institutions and other key actors to raise their awareness about issues affecting human rights defenders, to provide technical assistance for the implementation of national protection strategies and to devise methods to implement the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders at the national level; and offer a platform for analysing and responding to new strains and challenges for the promotion and protection of human rights defenders.


Further information for human rights defenders and regarding protection mechanisms and key documents for defenders can be found in the Human Rights Defenders section. To see what kind of capacity-building activities are carried out by ISHR in Geneva and in countries, please visit the Capacity Building section.

Strategic lobbying and legal advice

ISHR plays a crucial role in providing liaison, coordination and advocacy services to human rights NGOs and human rights defenders. The principal objectives are to promote collaboration and coordination among human rights NGOs at the international level and to promote the development and use of international law and mechanisms to address deficiencies in the promotion and protection of human rights. In particular our work responds to the need to bring together various key actors for strategic discussion and reflection to enhance the effectiveness of the international human rights system.


For a list of the statements delivered by ISHR and by partner NGOs, please go to NGO Statements. To see what kind of capacity-building activities are carried out by ISHR in Geneva and in countries, please visit the Capacity Building section.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 July 2010 09:26
© by The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) 2018