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Inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. © Trocaire 

Human rights

We defend the human rights of parliamentarians and help them uphold the rights of all.
Genocide memorial

Human rights are essential to democracy and development. One of the IPU’s key roles is defending and promoting the rights of parliamentarians.

Through its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the IPU has a unique mechanism to defend the rights of an increasing number of parliamentarians around the world who face abuse, mistreatment or even death simply for doing their jobs. 

We also provide MPs with information, knowledge and training to improve the human rights of the people they represent – especially women, children, minorities and indigenous peoples. 

We help parliaments implement the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council and UN human rights treaty bodies. We also ensure that countries, through their parliaments, sign up to human rights conventions and adopt and implement relevant domestic laws.

We also collect data on parliamentary human rights committees and empower and mobilise them to make human rights a priority for parliaments.

Our Committee on Democracy and Human Rights spearheads our work on key issues such as freedom of expression, youth participation and children’s rights.

The work of our Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law centres on protecting civilians caught up in conflict or disaster, such as refugees.

Defending the rights of MPs
510
Number of cases currently treated by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of MPs
Report a Member of Parliament in danger
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Parliaments have a critical role in protecting people's human rights. Photo: © Catching.Light (CC BY 2.0)
Parliaments have a critical role in protecting people's human rights. We take action to strengthen their work protecting the rights of all citizens, as well as those of MPs themselves.
The landmark UN Convention on the Rights of the Child transforms children from passive objects to active right-holders. Photo: ©NurPhoto/Alvaro Fuente
We help parliaments respect children's rights, by using their powers to pass laws; and also to allocate resources for the implementation of child-rights related programmes and policies.
The IPU has been defending MPs in danger for the past 40 years through its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.
Latest news and stories on human rights
Press releases
graphic

Annual IPU figures reveal increasing violence against parliamentarians, especially women MPs

In the lead-up to Human Rights Day on 10 December, the IPU has released its yearly figures on the human rights abuses experienced by parliamentarians around the world. The numbers confirm an upward trend of reported violations against parliamentarians. They
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Statements
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IPU concerned about violence during recent parliamentary elections in Myanmar

The IPU is concerned about reports of violence against parliamentarians and candidates during 8 November general elections in Myanmar. According to the information received by the IPU, parliamentarian Mr. U Htike Zaw was shot dead at his home in Shan
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Press releases
Venezuela

Opposition MPs suffer human rights violations against backdrop of elections

New allegations of human rights violations against parliamentarians in countries holding elections have recently been brought to the attention of the IPU. The cases involve opposition MPs whose basic rights to freedom of expression, assembly and movement have reportedly been
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Statements
Tundu Lissu

IPU Human Rights Committee urges Tanzanian authorities to ensure safety of returning opposition leader Tundu Lissu

Mr. Tundu Lissu, a former member of the Tanzanian Parliament and a vocal opposition leader, is due to return home on 27 July. Mr. Lissu survived an assassination attempt in 2017 and has since been abroad for medical treatment after
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News in brief
Protest

IPU calls on parliaments to help eradicate torture

On 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the IPU calls on parliaments to use all their powers to help eradicate state-sponsored physical and psychological abuse and all other forms of serious ill-treatment. The day also
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Human rights
Latest publications on human rights
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is the only international mechanism with the remit of protecting and defending MPs suffering human right violations. This map lists the number of human rights cases examined by the Committee in
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is the only international mechanism with the remit of protecting and defending MPs suffering human right violations. This map lists the number of human rights cases examined by the Committee in
This handbook, co-published with the International Labour Organization (ILO), is aimed to help parliamentarians address the issue of the 25 million people globally who are subject to forced labour. Learn more about the IPU's work on human rights.
Human rights
Related events
Virtual event
Postponed until further notice In partnership with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and UN Women
Dec 2020
Virtual event
Challenges and opportunities in parliamentary monitoring and evaluation
Dec 09 2020