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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
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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Statements

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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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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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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