About the Human Rights House Network
The Human Rights House Network (HRHN) unites established and emerging Human Rights Houses (HRH). 70 NGOs in 15 countries in Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, East and Horn of Africa, and Western Europe are currently part of the Network. HRHN´s aim is to protect, strengthen and support human rights defenders and their organisations.
Human Rights House: The Concept
HRH is a working community of human rights organisations. Each HRH consists of three to ten local human rights organisations. The concept of a HRH was made by experienced human rights defenders who shared the vision of being stronger together on both national and international levels, but still preserving the uniqueness of each organisation that joins the Network.
By joining and establishing a HRH, the human rights organisations are able to:
- Enhance co-operation and joint activities by bringing human rights groups together in one location
- Make member organizations more visible and accessible at the national, regional and international levels
- Save costs by sharing facilities such as conference rooms, human rights documentation centres, libraries, etc.
- Improve security of human rights defenders
About the Human Rights House Network
HRHN believes that human rights organisations stand stronger together so efficient national, regional and international networks are crucial to belong to. They give the human rights defenders courage to know that someone is watching, someone will protest and inform the world when atrocities occur. Networks can also ensure that the local voices are brought forward to the regional and international arena. Stronger networks are something the Special Rapporteurs and Commissioners on Human Rights Defenders strongly advocate for - due to their ability to mobilise rapid action when needed.
Thus, all our activities are aimed to protect, strengthen and support human rights organisations locally and unite them in an international network of Human Rights Houses.
HRHN was formally established in 1994 and in 2010 has members in the following countries: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia, Georgia, Norway, Russian Federation, Republic of Poland, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Partners are also found in the Republic of Armenia, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Kenya, Ukraine, Republic of Uganda, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and the Eritrean Diaspora. In total, the HRHN is represented by more than 70 local human rights organisations in the following four regions: Eastern Europe and Caucasus, Western Balkans, East and Horn of Africa, and Western Europe.
Hina Jilani, former UN Special Representative to the Secretary General
Hina Jilani, former UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on the situation of human rights defenders, about the Human Rights House Network.
Jan E. Helgesen, 1st Vice-President of the Venice Commission
"The Human Rights House Network defends the human rights defenders. The Human Rights Houses provide shelter - both in a metaphysical and in a physical sense - to those who are in need of shelter, because of their struggle for human rights.<...> It is my sincere hope that the Human Rights House Network is provided with the necessary financial resources to be able to continue to support the human rights defenders. By doing so, we reduce the risk that “all of our rights are put in jeopardy and all of us are made less safe”.
Jan E. Helgesen, Professor at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo and 1st Vice-President of the Venice Commission, President of the Scientific Council.
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 2003
"The Human Rights House Network can be very effective in supporting our mission. Through the Human Rights House Network we can convey news of human rights violations in Iran to the rest of the world and we can also reflect the problems that human rights defenders face. We have found our friends and supporters and will work with more confidence in the future. <...> The sucess of the Human Rights House Network is our success."
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 2003, human rights defender, about the Human Rights House Network.