The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has released its latest decisions after considering the cases of 417 MPs from 37 countries at a meeting in Geneva last week. The Committee, the only international body with a special remit to defend persecuted MPs, took decisions on 126 MPs, most of which concern opposition MPs in Venezuela.
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.
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.
With catastrophic climate change threatening to hit many parts of the world in just over a decade, 149 national parliaments have adopted an emergency resolution calling for decisive action. Concluding the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the resolution, called Climate change – Let us not cross the line, follows the report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the IPCC report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires urgent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.
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 the Assembly, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the only international body with an exclusive remit to support persecuted MPs, met for its 157th session. The committee meets three times a year to hear both complainants and the parliamentary authorities. Based on these hearings and other information, the committee takes position and its decisions are adopted by the IPU’s Governing Council. At this sitting, the committee took position on human rights violations of 295 MPs in 13 countries.
A new study by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (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.
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.
To celebrate International Day of Democracy on Saturday 15 September, the IPU is launching New Parline, a new version of its online open data platform on national parliaments. The platform is intended for MPs, academics, civil society, the media, and all those interested in parliaments as the core institution of democracy.
Data on parliaments shows a mixed picture on 30 June, the first International Day of Parliamentarism. This date was chosen by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 72/278 as it coincides with the foundation of the IPU – the global organization of parliaments – in 1889. Using its unique, worldwide vantage point, the IPU can offer a snapshot of the state of parliaments in 2018.