Theme: Human Rights

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IPU acts on record number of human rights abuses against MPs

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.

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IPU/PACE Report shows Parliaments are failing women MPs

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas and PACE President, Liliane Maury Pasquier, called on parliaments to build on the momentum of the #MeToo movement to denounce the violence happening in the corridors of legislative power.  They said with more women MPs exposing the extent of the problem, the entire parliamentary community needs to step up and end gender-based violence now in our workplace and beyond.

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#IPU139: Placing science at the heart of parliaments, policy-making and peace

Over 1300 MPs and parliamentary staff from around the world will meet in Geneva for the 139th IPU Assembly from 14-18 October. Under the umbrella theme of science, technology and innovation, the Assembly will cover multiple subjects including fake news, sexism and harassment in parliaments, human rights, disarmament, counter-terrorism, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and migration.

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IPU Committee on rights of MPs gives voice to MPs silenced at home

At the 139th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, the global parliamentary community expressed serious concerns about MP human rights violations worldwide including cases in Cambodia, Venezuela, Turkey, and Uganda. However, there was also good news from Malaysia and the Maldives.  At this sitting, the committee took position on human rights violations of 295 MPs in 13 countries.

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Sexual abuse & violence rife in Europe’s Parliaments

A new study by the IPU and PACE shows that acts of sexism, abuse and violence against women are widespread in parliaments across Europe. The findings reveal that 85 per cent of women MPs have suffered from psychological violence in parliament; women MPs under 40 are more likely to be harassed; female parliamentary staff endure more sexual violence than female MPs; and that the majority of parliaments don’t have mechanisms to enable women to speak out.

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BGIPU Vice-Chair speaks on IPU adoption of Declaration on UDHR

On 16 October 2018, during the 139th IPU Assembly in Geneva, there was a Special Session convened to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  This included the Launch of Handbook for Parliamentarians on Freedom of Expression for Parliaments and their members: Importance and scope of protection.  Prior to the Assembly adopting a Declaration to mark the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, there was a video address by BGIPU Vice-Chair Ann Clwyd MP.

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IDD 2018: What if parliamentary oversight did not exist?

On 15 September, the IPU celebrates the 21st anniversary of its Universal Declaration on Democracy and the 11th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy. The date is an opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to protect and promote democracy.  Democracy Day is also a time to review the state of democracy around the world. This year we are focusing on the importance of parliamentary oversight – a core function of parliaments and a vital part of the checks and balances in any healthy democracy.

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Parliaments around the world stand up for human rights

Parliaments around the world are increasingly prioritizing human rights and rightly so. Parliaments are uniquely positioned to close the gap between the work of UN human rights mechanisms and implementation at the national level. A recent report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on parliaments’ contributions to the work of the Human Rights Council highlights some good practices to help parliaments better protect and promote human rights.

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UK Parliament welcomes Anwar Ibrahim after pardon

At an event arranged by the Chair of the APPG for Human Rights, Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP, and attended by members of the APPG for Malaysia led by its Chair, Sir William Cash MP, the UK Parliament warmly welcomed the recent full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  In his comments to MPs and Peers, Mr Anwar recognised the important role parliamentarians had played in supporting his struggle for justice, particularly through the work of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.  

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APPG for Kazakhstan visits Astana

Three members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kazakhstan visited the country’s twenty-year-old capital city from Tuesday 29 May until Saturday 2 June. The delegation comprised Stephen Hepburn (MP for Jarrow, Labour), Lord Rogan (Cross Bencher) and the Chairman of the APPG for Kazakhstan, Bob Stewart (MP for Beckenham; Conservative).  The principal aim of the visit was to learn about Kazakhstan and to meet various sections of society there – especially parliamentarians.