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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
509
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
Press releases
National Guard in Caracas

New evidence of human rights violations against MPs

The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has released new evidence of human rights violations against 509 parliamentarians from 39 countries, a significant increase compared with the 468 cases that were recorded in October 2019. Most of the
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Voices
Tundu Lissu

Interview with Tundu Lissu, opposition leader, Tanzania

Voices is part of an IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Tundu Lissu, a former opposition MP
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Voices
Aleksandra Jerkov

Interview with Aleksandra Jerkov, MP from Serbia

Voices is part of an IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Aleksandra Jerkov, MP from Serbia and
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Voices
David Carter

Interview with David Carter, MP from New Zealand

Voices is part of an IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. David Carter, MP from New Zealand
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Voices
Jong Seok Kim

Interview with Jong Seok Kim, MP from the Republic of Korea

Voices is part of an IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Jong Seok Kim, MP from the
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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
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