International Society for Human Rights

(also in german: Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte IGFM)

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) and its national branches are independent non-governmental human rights organisations (NGOs) which base their work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations on 10 December 1948. The ISHR seeks to promote international understanding and tolerance in all areas of culture and society. It is a non-profit organisation, independent of all political parties, governments or religious groups. It acts according to the philosophy that the realisation of human rights and the improvement of social conditions cannot be pursued by use of force. ISHR was founded in order to support individuals who share this principle and, consequently, claim their rights in a non-violent manner … (about /at a glance 1/2).

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Address: International Society for Human Rigths ISHR, International Secretariat, Borsigallee 9, 60388 Frankfurt am Main, Germany;
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About: /at a glance 2/2: … The ISHR operates as a membership organisation with approximately 30.000 members in 26 states worldwide.  

The International Society for Human Rights has observatory status at the European Council in Brussels and ECOSOC status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The ISHR is mainly financed by membership fees and private donations and largely cooperates with different human rights organisations.

The main areas of the work of the ISHR are:

  • 1.  Support Support of persons, who are persecuted, imprisoned and discriminated against because of their religious and/ or political beliefs,
  • 2.  Public relations in human rights issues,
  • 3.  Education in human rights issues for persons, who live in states, which are at present in a phase of transformation towards democracy,
  • 4.  Humanitarian aid.
  • The ISHR has monitored and criticised the human rights situation in many countries since its foundation in 1972. Several countries with a bad human rights record, especially the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and North Korea have been under observation from the beginning. Cuba has been under observation since 1977. Unfortunately, there has always been every reason to criticise their human rights records.


The ISHR is a recognised charitable non-profit NGO. Its work is mainly done by honorary workers. The ISHR does not receive any state or municipal subsidies; it does however seek appropriated subsidies from Phare and Tacis programmes developed by the European Commission for projects that support the establishment of civic societies in Eastern European countries.

Case work:

The ISHR supports people, who promote the realisation of the basic human rights in their countries through non-violent means or who exert these rights and are prosecuted for this. The means to this are amongst others, appeals, petitions and remonstrative letters.

Public Relations:

The ISHR informs about human rights abuses, because the attention of the public is an important prerequisite to solving individual fates and structural problems. However, public relations does not only involve informing the press or lobbying, but also informing and educating the general public as to what human rights signify and how fundamental they are as well as how to implement them. The ISHR arranges seminars about democracy, states under rule of law and human rights. One of the long-term campaigns of the ISHR is the effort to the overcome barbaric punishments such as stoning and amputations.

Humanitarian Aid:

The ISHR renders humanitarian aid in the form of care packages and essential aid transports because it believes that the solving of humanitarian problems helps to support the realisation of human rights. Since 1980 the ISHR has helped those who could not expect enough government aid for political reasons, by supporting thousands of tons of “aid from one human being to another”.


In the past 10 years the ISHR has carried out many projects with financial help from the European Commission, amongst which are the search for witnesses and victims of war crimes in former Yugoslavia, the enforcement of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the humanisation of the military system in the Ukraine and the augmentation of the life proficiency of street and orphan asylum children in Eastern Europe.

ISHR history in brief: … (full text).

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