In these difficult times, we continue to draw inspiration from the work of our brave partners… Time and time again, we see that amidst the challenges and the risks, the perseverance, resilience and mobilisation of civil society brings results.

Maria Dahle, Director, Human Rights House Foundation

Read the 2023 Annual Report


Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) envisions a world in which everyone can freely and safely promote and enjoy all human rights. Empowered human rights defenders and a strong and independent civil society are key to this vision.

To achieve this vision, we work to establish, support and connect Human Rights Houses, protect human rights defenders, and advance four rights core to human rights work.

Establish and support Human Rights Houses

HRHF and the Network of Human Rights Houses celebrated the establishment of a new Human Rights House in Banja Luka, and its addition to the Network as its newest member. 

Throughout the year, HRHF extended its efforts to strengthen the capacity of Human Rights Houses and their member organisations to address human rights challenges locally and internationally. 

Thanks to our donors’ generous financial support, HRHF supported the work of Houses and their member organisations through core and project grants, empowering them to serve as platforms for human rights work and respond to local human rights needs.

Find out more in our 2023 Annual report

Connect Human Rights Houses

HRHF continued strengthening connections in the Network of Human Rights Houses.  Together, Network members participated in solidarity campaigns, learned from each other at events and through joint projects, and jointly advocated for stronger human rights standards internationally. In November in Warsaw, the Network reunited for its first in-person Network Meeting since 2019. 

In the Balkans, Human Rights Houses Banja Luka, Belgrade and Zagreb, as well as the Sarajevo Open Centre formed a coalition aiming to develop a regional network of Human Rights Houses. Together, they have worked to develop a report on the situation for human rights defenders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia – this report also serves as a pilot for the wider Network.

Find out more in our 2023 Annual report

Protect human rights defenders

Together, HRHF and Network members called for the release of political prisoners in Belarus and Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia. HRHF raised cases of HRDs at risk in its communications and advocated with Network partners at the national and international levels for policies and international mechanisms to support HRDs. HRHF continued to support Ukrainian civil society in the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country through the ESU regional project, implemented by a coalition led by ERIM.

Find out more in our 2023 Annual report

Advance four rights core to human rights work

HRHF and partners in the Network and beyond played central roles in advocating for key human rights mechanisms and standards on the international level. Together, we worked to advance the protection of four rights that underpin civil society: the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression and the right to be a human rights defender. HRHF supported local partners to advance national-level advocacy priorities and worked to ensure that the evolving human rights-related needs of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian civil society were being heard consistently internationally as the situation in the region continued to be dire.

Find out more in our 2023 Annual report