About ISHR

About ISHR

The International Service for Human Rights is an independent, non-profit organisation promoting and protecting human rights. Founded in 1984, ISHR is currently based in Geneva (Switzerland) and New York (United States). 

Our mission is to support human rights defenders, strengthen human rights systems, as well as lead and participate in coalitions for human rights change. We believe that no matter who we are or where we come from, no matter the differences between cultures, as human beings, we all share the same humanity. We all wish to live in peace, be respected, be surrounded by our loved ones in a safe and fair environment, and with opportunities to lead our lives in dignity.

We want to make sure that as humanity advances, no one is left behind. To always speak out against injustices like racism, sexism, or the climate crisis and support people working on the frontlines with communities.

We carry out our mission by:

  • strengthening human rights defenders’ capacity,
  • strengthening human rights laws and systems at the national and international level, 
  • promoting accountability for grave violations of human rights by States or non-State actors, 
  • securing implementation of effective human rights mechanisms at the national level,
  • building powerful partnerships for change.

Our reach is global thanks to our network of human rights defenders, the diverse human rights fields we contribute to and our privileged connections with the United Nations and other important stakeholders. 

Read more about ISHR’s mission, activities, impact and vision in our Annual Reports and our Strategic Framework for 2021-2025.

Latest updates

Annual Report | Supporting humanity's essential workers

It's difficult to encapsulate such a complex year in a word, but "interconnected" is one that comes to mind when reflecting on 2020. We are proud to have remained deeply interconnected with defenders and to have supported, protected and amplified their work at the national, regional and international levels. With them, the "essential workers" of our times, we strive for a 2021 full of freedom, equality, dignity and justice.

Phishing | Malicious emails and messages pretending to be from ISHR

The International Service for Human Rights is warning that phishing emails, camouflaged to appear as sent by an organisation called International Society for Human Rights and using the same acronym ISHR, are being disseminated with the goal of delivering malware and stealing information under the pretext of an invitation to an “International Human Right Conference on (Elimination Violence Against Women & Children, Human Trafficking and Child Abuse) Taking place from the 21st - 24th of JUNE 2021 in Massachusetts , Boston the United States and from the 27th - 30th of JUNE 2021 in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Gratitude, impact and a new strategy

Here are some of the things we are most proud of; impacts that reflect and were made possible thanks to the creativity, solidarity and resilience of our partners, our staff and the human rights defenders we collectively serve.

Support ISHR | Share compassion and hope

This December, ISHR will raise money to provide invaluable skills and resources to courageous activists from around the globe and make real their hopes and agenda for a better world.

Thank you and farewell to Michael Ineichen

After almost 14 years with ISHR, starting as an intern and departing as a Programme Director, Michael Ineichen is leaving us to take up an exciting role with Amnesty International Switzerland. We thank Michael for his deep commitment to human rights defenders and for his remarkable contribution to laws and mechanisms for their protection.