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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
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.
Latest news and stories on human rights

IPU gravely concerned over new cases of abuse against Venezuelan MPs

In the last few days, the IPU has received an alarmingly high number of new complaints of alleged human rights violations against Venezuelan parliamentarians. The IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians will examine these complaints, as well as other
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IPU President and Secretary General

130 years after the foundation of the IPU, the struggle for democracy continues

An end-of-year message from IPU leadership. We should never take democracy for granted. Many of our parents and grandparents fought for it in the Second World War and in battles for independence from colonial rule. In the 1990s we celebrated
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News in brief

Two opposition MPs allowed to leave Venezuela thanks to IPU Honorary President Casini

After spending more than six months in the Italian embassy of Caracas, Venezuela, two parliamentarians, Ms. Mariela Magallanes and Mr. Americo De Grazia, are now in Italy thanks to the efforts of IPU Honorary President Mr. Pier Ferdinando Casini.
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Press releases
Jean Wyllys

IPU figures reveal most human rights violations against parliamentarians are State-sponsored

In the lead-up to Human Rights Day on 10 December, the IPU has announced its yearly figures of alleged human rights violations against members of parliament in 2019. The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, a unique mechanism
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Renewing our commitment to protecting the rights of the child

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) joins the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which, while dedicated to its high cause, should ensure the promotion of the rights of the child. The IPU applauds
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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
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.
Human rights
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