International Service for Human Rights ISHR

The International Service for Human Rights ISHR is an international NGO serving human rights defenders. Our vision is the development, strengthening, effective use and implementation of international and regional standards and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights.

All links to the different pages are internal, available only from the homepage.

Contact Geneva Office: International Service for Human Rights ISHR, Rue Varembé 1, P.O. Box 16, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, Tel. (+41) 22 919 71 00, Fax (+41) 22 919 71 25

Contact New York Office: International Service for Human Rights ISHR, New York Office, 777 UN Plaza, 8th floor, New York, NY 10017, USA, Tel. (+1 212) 490 21 99, Fax: (+1 212) 490 13 96, E-mail New York.

What is ISHR? An international organisation serving human rights defenders

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) serving human rights defenders. It was established in 1984 by members of a number of NGOs in Geneva to help defenders access the international human rights system. This remains its distinctive role more than 20 years later.

ISHR’s vision is the development, strengthening, effective use and implementation of international and regional standards and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights. We work towards this vision by providing analytical and practical information on UN human rights mechanisms; training on how to use international and regional norms and procedures; strategic advice for effective lobbying; contributions to standard-setting; and logistical support to enable human rights defenders from around the world to take full advantage of international human rights law and procedures.

We are a service organisation that supports, encourages and facilitates the work of others with and within the UN system and regional human rights systems. We work at national, regional and international levels.

Our Work: Information, Training, Liaison, Coordination and Advocacy (LCA), Human Rights Defenders Office, New York Office, Secretariat.

Analytical and practical information for human rights defenders:

We monitor, analyse and report on the developments within the international 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 a range of publications under the Human Rights Monitor Series. These include the Council Monitor, that reports on all discussions and developments related to the Human Rights Council; the Treaty Body Monitor containing reports on each State examined by the seven treaty bodies; and the New York Monitor, which reports on human rights-related developments at the General Assembly, Security Council and other New York-based bodies.

In addition to our regular analytical reports, we provide manuals and handbooks on significant human rights issues or processes. In 2006 ISHR jointly with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) produced A new chapter for human rights, a handbook for defenders and NGOs, which describes the major issues of transition from the Commission on Human Rights to the newly formed Human Rights Council.

We also produce, increasingly so, practical information such as the Info-Pack, which provides contact information and other useful details for human rights mechanisms within the international and regional human rights systems. In 2007, we will develop a series of practical guides to different aspects of the UN human rights system that will help defenders take action and understand how to use the system in a very concrete way.

We make our key reports and information available on CD-Rom and through e-mail distribution lists to ensure that defenders and NGOs with limited access to the Internet may access our materials.

Our publications are … (full long text, and click on ‘about us’).

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