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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
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
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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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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Press releases
Cote D'Ivoire election

#IPU140: IPU calls for actions to defend persecuted MPs worldwide

At the 140 th IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar, the global parliamentary community strongly condemned human rights violations against MPs worldwide. At the Assembly, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the only international body with an exclusive remit to support MPs in danger, recommended action in the cases of 187 parliamentarians in a dozen countries whose human rights have been violated.
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Press releases
The National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela

IPU considers new evidence revealing abuse of the human rights of MPs worldwide

The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has released its latest decisions after considering the cases of 417 MPs from 37 countries at a meeting in Geneva last week. The Committee, the only international body with a special remit to defend persecuted MPs, took decisions on 126 MPs, most of which concern opposition MPs in Venezuela.
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MP Jacques Ehouo, © AFP

IPU calls for respect of parliamentary immunity in Côte d’Ivoire

The IPU is concerned by the prosecution of Mr. Jacques Ehouo and the detention of Mr. Alain Lobognon, both MPs in the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, and the violation of their parliamentary immunity enshrined in Articles 91 and 92
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Human rights
Latest publications on human rights
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.
The overall aim of this handbook is to help parliamentarians better understand international standards on freedom of expression.
Human rights
Related events
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Dec 05 2019

Information seminar on the structure and functioning of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for Spanish-speaking participants

Costa Rica
Nov 27 2019