The Model Law for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders, developed in consultation with human rights defenders and human rights experts from all regions of the world, including Protection International, will be launched today 21 June 2016 in Geneva.  The Model Law will provide comprehensive and authoritative assistance to States to implement their obligations under the Declaration, together with key recommendations arising from the High Commissioner’s report.


Legal recognition and the development and implementation of national public policies by States are necessary to ensure human rights defenders are free from attacks, reprisals and unreasonable restrictions. However, only a few States have incorporated the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders comprehensively into national law, while many States continue to implement legislation restricting the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The International Service for Human Rights’ (ISHR) Model Law for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders full document is available for download here.

The ISHR will be hosting the event “Protecting civil society space through a Model National Law on the protection of human rights defenders” in Geneva from 15h00 – 16h00 Palais des Nations, Room XXIII. Full information of the event can be found on ISHR’s website.


ISHR for Geneva