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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
620
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.
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
Voices
Samuel Cogolati

A conversation with...Samuel Cogolati, MP, Belgium

As part of the IPU series called 'A conversation with...', we interview parliamentarians from all over the world to find out who they represent and what motivates them. In this edition, we discover Samuel Cogolati, MP from Belgium.
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News in brief
OHCHR-IPU

IPU and UN Human Rights strengthen their partnership

The IPU and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) renewed their partnership today with the signature of a new Memorandum of Understanding between Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Mr
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Press releases
© UNHCR/Gordon Welters

UNHCR and IPU welcome Council of Europe parliamentary resolution in support of refugees

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, welcome the adoption of a resolution and publication of a report in support of refugees by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The PACE
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Press releases
Joana Mamombe

IPU calls for action following increased physical violence against parliamentarians

IPU Member Parliaments have committed to taking action to address alleged human rights violations suffered by MPs in a number of countries, including Egypt, Libya, Myanmar, Philippines, Turkey, Yemen and Zimbabwe. Many of the cases concern actual physical violence against parliamentarians, including against women and young MPs.
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Press releases
Elected MPS wave to protesters

IPU reports sharp increase in abuse against parliamentarians, driven largely by Myanmar

The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is monitoring a record 601 cases of alleged violations against parliamentarians around the world. This represents a significant uptick compared to 552 cases in December 2020. The caseload includes many new
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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
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