What we do

Discover ISHR: click on the video below.

The International Service for Human Rights is an independent, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights. We achieve this by supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, and leading and participating in coalitions for human rights change.

Our theory of change is founded on a proven formula, supported by over 30 years of research, frontline experience and a record of impact.

Human rights defenders, the essential agents  +

International and regional human rights laws and systems, the powerful levers

National-level human rights progress and change


Building on this formula, ISHR achieves human rights impact in five key ways:

Strengthening human rights defenders' capacity – ISHR’s comprehensive training, information products, strategic advice and advocacy accompaniment ensure that national-level human rights defenders can use international and regional human rights mechanisms in the most powerful and effective ways

Strengthening human rights laws and systems – ISHR’s 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

Promoting accountability for violations – ISHR’s unparalleled experience at the UN and with regional bodies means we can use those mechanisms in the most rapid and strategic ways possible to prevent attacks and violations against human rights defenders, and to ensure justice and accountability where they occur

Securing implementation at the national level – ISHR’s unmatched expertise on international human rights defender standards and resolutions, together with our deep partnerships with national human rights networks and organisations, enable us to play an influential role in securing implementation of these standards and resolutions on the ground

Building powerful partnerships for change – ISHR’s strong relationships with key governments, progressive businesses and leading NGOs mean we can build and mobilise powerful partnerships for human rights change

With limited resources and high demand for our services, our work focuses on those human rights defenders who are most at risk, where our support can protect and strengthen them as agents of change.

Read our Strategic Framework 2021-202- an ambitious agenda for tumultuous times - here.

Read what others have to say about us here.