“These exciting projects embody the solidarity and collaborative nature at the heart of the network of Human Rights Houses and provide Houses and member organisations the opportunity to benefit from one another’s expertise and experience. We have already seen implementation of one successful project this year, and are awaiting the implementation of five more in the coming months,” commented Daiva Petkeviciute, Administration and Fundraising Manager at Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF).
The first of the projects was successfully carried out in March 2017, with experts from four Houses meeting at Human Rights House Yerevan, to train Armenian human rights defenders in how to document and report on violations of the right to assembly. Armenia has seen several high-profile cases of violations of the right to free assembly in recent years including the “Erebuni” mass protests and arrests that took place in Yerevan in summer 2016, and the “Electric Yerevan” protests in summer 2015.
A common focus of many of the upcoming House-to-House projects is human rights education. One such project will strengthen the capacity of Belarusian and Ukrainian human rights defenders and judges in the context of protecting the right to a fair trial. This joint project includes the Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv, the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, and members of the Houses’ educational programme in international human rights law – the ILIA programme.
Another project will aim to improve the Houses and HRHF’s protection work. Human Rights House Tbilisi will host representatives from the Houses in Chernihiv and Yerevan and from the Belarusian House in September. The workshop will strengthen participants’ understanding of fair trial standards and increase the pool of trained lawyers and journalists available to observe trials of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The launch of the House-to-House project fund was motivated by HRHF’s strategic aim of increasing cooperation among the Houses, and inspired by the many ideas conceived at the Assembly of Human Rights Houses held at Human Rights House Belgrade last year. The supported projects promote and protect one or more of the four core rights essential for the work of the Houses and HRHF: the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, and the right to be a human rights defender.
Daiva Petkeviciute is responsible for the management of the House-to-House project fund at HRHF. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more information.
This article was first published as part of the newsletter of the Human Rights Houses and HRHF. Sign up to receive news and insight into human rights issues and country situations, the projects and activities of Human Rights Houses, and portraits and interviews with human rights defenders.