Increased cooperation enables Human Rights Houses to share their knowledge and experience, and create and implement joint projects and strategies. Cooperation and solidarity are essential to the Human Rights House concept.
House-to-House Fund: Supporting an active, closer network
“It is difficult to solve serious problems in human rights without solidarity and support from partners. We open the doors to each other, because we are stronger together. Human rights have no borders,” says Serhiy Burov, Director of Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv.
The House-to-House project fund has contributed significantly to cultivating solidarity and building a strong, vibrant, and living network. Two years since its launch, HRHF’s House-to-House fund continues to support Houses and member organisations to be creative and innovative, to test new ideas, and to share and benefit from the vast experience in the network of Human Rights Houses.
“Solidarity and cooperation are at the core of the network. Thanks to the fund, we see increased cooperation, learning from each other and gained strength to address common challenges and human rights needs in the countries of the network,” says Daiva Petkeviciute, Head of House Development and Support at HRHF.
HRHF upholds the principles of sustainability, flexibility, coordination, and independence in its approach as a donor. For the House-to-House fund, this translates into ensuring the projects contribute to strategic directions of the Houses, meet local needs, promote collaboration instead of competition, and prioritise the independence and security of organisations applying to the fund.
Read more about the success of the House-to-House fund in 2018.
In November 2016, representatives from 15 Human Rights Houses and from Human Rights House Foundation gathered in the Serbian capital Belgrade for the network meeting. This was hosted and co-organised by Human Rights House Belgrade and HRHF, and included external experts and donor representatives.
The Assembly was held over two days, with sessions under two themes: celebrating the work of the Human Rights Houses and looking to the future of the Houses and their work.
Read more about the Network Meeting in Belgrade.
Impact by year
HRHF supported 17 projects of Houses and member organisations in 2018 through the House-to-House small grants fund. The aim of the fund is to enable Houses to benefit from shared knowledge, expertise and partnership. In 2018, we prioritised projects that included a focus on outreach.
Connecting network members
In response to requests from Houses to organise more working meetings within the network, be it through thematic, regional, or functional gatherings, HRHF organised a networking meeting for coordinators and staff of Human Rights Houses. Named “House Treff”, the three-day meeting in Oslo enabled people from different Houses to learn from and inspire each other, and get a sense of community. It was also an opportunity for HRHF to better understand how we can best support the House staff in their roles to implement decisions of their Boards and support joint initiatives of member NGOs.
Educating Human Rights Lawyers
After 10 years of coordinating the network International Law in Advocacy (ILIA) programme on education in international human rights standards, HRHF transferred coordination of the programme to Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv. The House took over responsibility for ILIA Online in September 2018, and started running pilot courses open to participants from the network. HRHF will provide ongoing support as a donor.
For the network of Human Rights Houses, 2017 was an exceptional year for cooperation. This was in part due to HRHF establishing a fund to support House-to-House projects, which provided mini-grants to encourage knowledge and competency sharing, joint projects and pooled resources.
Also, 540 human rights defenders were trained as part of the network International Law in Advocacy (ILIA) programme, which focuses on education in international human rights standards. Reform of the programme continued, aimed at decentralising the management of the programme and handing over its ownership, responsibilities, and educational and online resources to the Houses.
Read more about how we increased cooperation in 2017.
In 2016, HRHF was a leading partner in the International Law in Advocacy (ILIA) programme. This came as the programme marked 10 years of teaching lawyers and human rights defenders strategies on how to implement human rights standards at the national level, and facilitating an active, international alumni network of human rights lawyers.
In March 2016, HRHF assisted Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv and Human Rights House Tbilisi in holding a seminar on the prevention and treatment of psychological burnout for Ukrainian human rights defenders, who worked in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea and were in urgent need of such support.
The Houses gathered for the Network Assembly in November 2016, where they celebrated their achievements and looked to the future.