The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) has just launched a new database documenting information on reprisals against persons for cooperating with the United Nations. A reprisal occurs when a State targets an individual for working with any UN body in the field of human rights. Naturally, this includes a great many number human rights defenders and other civil society actors.
In an effort to do more to combat reprisals, every year since 2010 the Secretary General has prepared a report documenting alleged reprisals and the States accused of committing them.
ISHR’s database for the first time puts the information from over 10 years of those reprisals reports in one place, analysing which States commit more reprisals, the most common form form of attack and who is targeted most often.
There is no excuse for committing a reprisal against a human rights defender. As I have said before, I firmly believe that a state’s record on reprisals should be one of the key criteria for consideration when running for election to the UN Human Rights Council. The idea that a state which routinely punishes people for engaging with the Council or other UN mechanisms should be eligible to sit on the Council is a betrayal of the human rights defenders who take great risks on a daily basis to expose the violations of those same states.
I hope this database ramps up global efforts to end reprisals for good.
Access the database here: https://endreprisals.ishr.ch/en/