Skip to main content

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
610
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
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
Read more
News in brief
Mynamar

IPU leadership meets with Myanmar parliamentarians

IPU President, Mr. Duarte Pacheco and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong met today a group of Myanmar parliamentarians elected in the general election of November 2020 but prevented from taking their seats in the new parliament following the military
Read more
News in brief
Ms. Seham Sergiwa

IPU Human Rights Committee urges end to impunity for murdered, tortured and kidnapped MPs

The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has renewed its calls to national authorities to bring to account those involved in the past abuse of members of parliament, including murder. Although some of the cases are more than
Read more
Voices
McGuinty

Presenting human rights work of IPU to Canadian parliamentarians.

In this extract of a virtual meeting from 2 February 2021, Hon. David McGuinty, Member of the Canadian House of Commons, and Hon. David Carter, former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, present the work of the IPU
Read more
Voices
US capitol

Democracy wins. Again.

On 6 January 2021, the world watched in horror as a mob waged an outrageous assault on the US Capitol building. Congress was in session, performing the usually calm and orderly ritual of confirming the election results and certifying the
Read more
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
Related events
Forum

Parliamentary Forum at the United Nations High-level Political Forum

New York,
United States

Either in New York or virtual
Jul 12 2021
Virtual event

Virtual World e-Parliament Conference

-
Jun 16 2021
Assembly
-
The 142nd Assembly of the IPU will take place virtually.
May 24 2021