In this section:
Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians
Taking a stance on human rights issues
Parliamentary work on human rights
Reconciliation in post-conflict situations
Partnerships and instruments
Related sections:
Promoting democracy
Partnership between men and women
Cooperation with the UN
Peace and security
Sustainable development
What is the IPU?


  Taking a stance on human rights issues


As a political organization, the IPU regularly debates human rights questions during its statutory Assemblies (called Conferences until 2003), one of the Standing Committees of which is entirely devoted to issues relating to democracy and human rights. Assembly resolutions are distributed as official documents of the United Nations where the IPU enjoys the status of a permanent observer to the UN General Assembly.

Selected recent resolutions:

  red cubeThe role of parliaments in striking a balance between national security, human security and individual freedoms, and in averting the threat to democracy  118th Assembly
April 2008
  red cubeMigrant workers, people trafficking, xenophobia and human rights  118th Assembly
April 2008
  red cubeThe urgent need to immediately stop the widespread human rights violations and to restore the democratic rights of the people of Myanmar  117th Assembly
October 2007
  red cubePromoting diversity and equal rights for all through universal democratic and electoral standards  116th Assembly
May 2007
  red cubeMissing persons  115th Assembly
October 2006
  red cubeHow parliaments can and must promote effective ways of combating violence against women in all fields  114th Assembly
May 2006
  red cubeThe role of parliaments in advocating and enforcing observance of human rights in the strategies for the prevention, management and treatment of the HIV/AIDS pandemic  112th Assembly
April 2005
  red cubeFurthering parliamentary democracy in order to protect human rights and encourage reconciliation among peoples and partnership among nations  110th Assembly
April 2004
  red cubeParliaments' role in strengthening democratic institutions and human development in a fragmented world  108th Conference
April 2003
  red cubeTerrorism – a threat to democracy, human rights and civil society: the contribution of parliaments to combating international terrorism and addressing its causes in order to maintain international peace and security  107th Conference
March 2002
  red cubeThe contribution of parliaments to the peaceful coexistence of ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, including migrant populations, within one State, marked by tolerance and the full respect for their human rights  102nd Conference
October 1999
  red cubeStrong action by national Parliaments in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ensure the promotion and protection of all human rights in the 21st century  100th Conference
September 1998

A complete chronological list of resolutions adopted by IPU statutory Assemblies (Conferences) since 1991 is available on a separate page.


The IPU regularly organizes parliamentary meetings which focus on human rights and related issues. Most of these events are held specifically for chairpersons and members of parliamentary committees specializing in human rights. Examples of such events held in recent years are listed below and often focus on a particular human rights topic.

Annual seminars for members of parliamentary human rights bodies
  red cube"Migration: the human rights perspective". Seminar for members of parliamentary committees on human rights and other committees addressing migration issues.  Geneva (Switzerland)
24-26 October 2007
  red cube"Law and Justice: The Case for Parliamentary Scrutiny". Seminar for members of parliamentary human rights bodies  Geneva (Switzerland)
September 2006
  red cubeSeminar for chairpersons and members of parliamentary human rights bodies on freedom of expression, parliament and the promotion of tolerant societies  Geneva (Switzerland)
May 2005
  red cubeSeminar for Chairpersons and Members of Parliamentary Human Rights Bodies  Geneva (Switzerland)
March 2004
Other human rights meetings
  red cubeConference organized by the African Parliamentary Union in cooperation with the IPU on "Africa and migration: Challenges, problems and solutions"  Rabat (Morocco)
22-24 May 2008
  red cubeRegional seminar for parliaments in French-speaking Africa on the "Role of Parliaments in the implementation of international and regional human rights treaties"  Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
1-3 October 2007
  red cubeMeeting of parliamentary bodies dealing with the status of women and gender equality  Geneva (Switzerland)
December 2006
  red cubeSeminar on the impact of parliamentary action on indigenous peoples' rights, organised in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  Geneva (Switzerland)
July 2005
  red cubeParliamentary Meeting on the occasion of the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights  Geneva (Switzerland)
April 2002
  red cubeConference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians During Armed Conflict in Africa  Niamey (Niger)
February 2002
  red cubeParliamentary Meeting "Action of parliaments and their members in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance"  Durban (South Africa)
September 2001

Special mention should be made of the Inter-Parliamentary Symposium "Parliament: Guardian of Human Rights", which was held in Budapest (Hungary) in May 1993 and helped to shape IPU's human rights programme as it is known today.

A complete chronological list of specialized IPU events held since 1991 is available on a separate page.