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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
468
Number of cases currently treated by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of MPs
Report a Member of Parliament in danger
Explore human rights
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.
Latest news and stories on human rights
Statements

IPU calls for reconciliation on Cambodia’s Independence Day

The IPU congratulates Cambodia on its national day 9 November. It urges the Cambodian authorities to promote reconciliation and peaceful interaction between all political forces, including opposition leaders, in the interests of strengthening democracy that delivers for all the people
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Press releases
Seham Sergiwa

Record number of new cases of persecuted parliamentarians in the world

At the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia, IPU Member Parliaments condemned human rights violations against a record number of new cases of abused MPs.
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Press releases
US Capitol

Parliamentarians at risk around the world - Events for US Congress

Parliamentarians at risk around the world/ Violence against women politicians - US Congress Events on Thursday 19 September The IPU will be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday 19 September for two events open to Members of the US Congress, congressional
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Statements
© AFP/ Juan BARRETO

IPU concerned about further deterioration of political crisis in Venezuela

The IPU is concerned about the arrest on 8 May of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Edgar Zambrano. His arrest follows the decision of the Constituent Assembly to strip him of his parliamentary immunity as well as that of six other members of the National Assembly, and with the likelihood of three more to come.
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Voices
Juan Pablo Letelier

VIDEO: Juan Pablo Letelier, Chilean MP, on human rights and climate change

Juan Pablo Letelier, MP from Chile, on the human rights of parliamentarians and on what we need to do on climate change. He was speaking at the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, held in Doha, 6-10 April 2019. Watch
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Human rights
Latest publications on human rights
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.
This map shows the number of violations of MPs' human rights in 2018.
This handbook, jointly published with UNHCR, promotes good practices in nationality laws.
Human rights
Related events
Meeting

161st Session of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians

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Geneva
Switzerland

Jan 20 2020
Seminar
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Port of Spain
Trinidad & Tobago

The aim of the seminar is to further explore the opportunities and challenges facing parliaments in the Caribbean region in exercising their role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dec 05 2019
Seminar
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San José
Costa Rica

The seminar is for parliamentary staff who serve as Secretaries of IPU Groups within Member Parliaments.
Nov 27 2019