The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has announced the highest number of human rights violations against MPs on its books since it was established 40 years ago. The Committee treated 564 cases of parliamentarians from 43 countries in 2018. This is almost double the figure from five years ago. Most of the cases concern opposition MPs from the Americas and Asia. The IPU Committee is the only international complaints mechanism with the mandate to defend the human rights of persecuted parliamentarians. Its work includes mobilizing the international parliamentary community to support threatened MPs, lobbying closely national authorities, and sending trial observers.
A new IPU report shows that information and communication technology (ICT) is helping parliaments become better connected and more transparent, and that MPs are engaging more with people through social media and instant messaging. The report is being launched at the IPU’s World e-Parliament Conference taking place from 3-5 December in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, the IPU will also launch the Centre for Innovation in Parliament, a new resource to support the use of digital tools in parliaments. The IPU World e-Parliament report is the fifth in a series showING how digital tools are transforming parliaments, and how new media are helping parliaments and MPs connect with new audiences.
Chaired by the Speaker of the HoC, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, the BGIPU AGM took place on 27 November 2018 to adopt the 2018 Annual Report after being proposed and seconded by the Minister of State for Africa in the FCO/DFID, Harriett Baldwin MP, and the Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Fabian Hamilton MP respectively. The AGM also saw the election of Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP as Chair for the BGIPU alongside a new Executive Committee for 2018/19. The contribution of the outgoing Chair, Nigel Evans MP, was warmly acknowledged by all BGIPU members along with recognition of the work of the BGIPU Secretariat.