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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
488
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
Statements
Tundu Lissu

IPU Human Rights Committee urges Tanzanian authorities to ensure safety of returning opposition leader Tundu Lissu

Mr. Tundu Lissu, a former member of the Tanzanian Parliament and a vocal opposition leader, is due to return home on 27 July. Mr. Lissu survived an assassination attempt in 2017 and has since been abroad for medical treatment after
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News in brief
Protest

IPU calls on parliaments to help eradicate torture

On 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the IPU calls on parliaments to use all their powers to help eradicate state-sponsored physical and psychological abuse and all other forms of serious ill-treatment. The day also
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Press releases
Man in prison

IPU concerned about vulnerability of detained MPs during pandemic

The IPU is increasingly concerned about parliamentarians in detention during the COVID-19 pandemic due to greater risks of infection in overcrowded and confined spaces. In its first virtual sitting, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians paid particular
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News in brief
Parliament of Uzbekistan

IPU welcomes human rights efforts by Uzbek Parliament

The IPU welcomes the latest actions by the Uzbek Parliament to implement international human rights standards at the national level. Following an IPU recommendation, Uzbek parliamentarians recently participated in a video meeting involving multiple international and Uzbek organizations to review
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News in brief
Venezuelan National Assembly

IPU calls to release detained Venezuelan MPs more critical during pandemic

The IPU continues to be concerned about the fate of opposition MPs in detention in Venezuela particularly in Iight of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, people in prison and other confined places of detention, are more
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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. Learn more about the IPU's work on human rights.
About IPU
A one-page overview of the IPU's work on human rights.
Human rights
Related events
Seminar

Islamabad-
Pakistan

The seminar aims to provide parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with a platform to share experiences, acquire up-to-date information on the progress of SDG implementation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Nov 2020
Virtual event
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Nov 01 2020
Virtual event
This is the third webinar in the Climate Legislation Webinar Series organized by the IPU, the Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat.
Oct 08 2020