Vision and Strategy

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 lasting human rights change, human rights actors must cooperate, develop their capacity, communicate and promote human rights to society, and, especially where oppression is severe, receive protection and support in their own and from other countries.

To achieve its vision, HRHF works to:

Establish and support Human Rights Houses

HRHF establishes and supports Human Rights Houses and their member organisations, and contributes to building their capacities to effectively address the human rights needs of their societies.

Connect Human Rights Houses

HRHF connects Human Rights Houses into an international Network, and supports collaboration, knowledge, and experience exchange in order to continuously strengthen the Network.

Protect human rights defenders

HRHF and Human Rights Houses promote the positive role of human rights defenders, and respond to, and advocate against, reprisals to ensure that Network members and human rights defenders and organisations are better protected.

Advance four rights core to human rights work

HRHF and Human Rights Houses promote the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression and the right to be a human rights defender, advocating together for strong international mechanisms and standards and joining with Network partners on national advocacy campaigns.

By these actions, HRHF helps to create fair societies in which everyone can safely and freely promote and enjoy all human rights. 

Read about our impact.



HRHF and the network of Human Rights Houses are guided by a code of conduct and a common set of values that guide our work including:

Human rights for all / Universality of human rights

We respect all human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all persons in all countries of the world, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

With impact

Our work is effective and targeted. All activities we undertake and support must serve a purpose and lead to stronger impact. We review all actions and evaluate the tactics and mechanisms we use to gain influence.

Rooted at the local level

Human Rights Houses are core to everything Human Rights House Foundation does – from advocacy and awareness raising, to capacity building and protection. All of our work is rooted in and linked to the Human Rights Houses.

Amplifying local voices

We aim to amplify the voice and heighten the visibility of local organisations, raising their profile and increasing their impact.

Independence and autonomy

Each Human Rights House is an equal partner and retains its autonomy. In turn, each member organisation of a Human Rights House is an equal partner in the House and retains its autonomy.

Professional, credible, and reliable

We aim to be a valuable partner for action and a trusted source of expertise.

Transparent and accountable

We are committed to being transparent and open about our objectives, structure and activities. We seek to be independent from our donors and do not tolerate corruption, internally or externally.

Community of equals

Each member organisation in a Human Rights House is an equal partner in the House and retains its autonomy; each Human Rights House is similarly an equal partner in the network and retains its autonomy.

Cooperation and solidarity

Cooperation is essential to our purpose; joining forces makes us stronger.




Human Rights House Foundation utilises various processes of regular evaluation as a powerful tool to ensure our relevance and sustainability. These evaluations enable us to learn, improve, and inform our organisational strategies and to adjust the course of action when needed.

In addition to internal evaluation processes, we aim to undergo a more extensive external evaluation every few years, to check whether our theory of change is still relevant and whether the work that we do has the intended impact.

2018 Evaluation of administrative capacities & competencies

In November 2018, HRHF underwent an external assessment of its administrative capacities and competencies. 

“HRHF has adequate administrative capacities and competence in place to undertake financial management… The HRHF organisational culture is one of mutual respect, transparency, accountability and ethical performance. There is a high awareness of financial risk, and the organisation has put important measures in place to prevent financial mismanagement and corruption,” concluded the evaluation.

Read the evaluation in full.

2017 Evaluation of the Human Rights House Concept and its Advocacy Component

“The Human Rights House concept maintains its relevance as a platform that promotes collaboration, drives innovation, and empowers civil society for the advancement of human rights and dignity for all.” Nino Khurtsidze, External Consultant.

In 2017, HRHF commissioned an external evaluation of the Human Rights House concept and our advocacy work, to assess their relevance and effectiveness, and to offer recommendations to update the concept to maximise its potential positive impact. The findings of the evaluation helped to inform HRHF’s strategy for 2019-2023.

Read in full “Evaluation of the Human Rights House Concept and its Advocacy Component.

2005 Human Rights House Foundation and the HRH-Network Evaluation Report

Reflecting on the future of the Houses and the changing environment for human rights defenders, Human Rights House Foundation commissioned an external review process in 2005.

Read in full “Human Rights House Foundation and the HRH-Network

Evaluation Report”.

In response to the findings of the evaluation, an effort was made to empower the Human Rights Houses, by giving them more of a say in the development of the network. With the establishment of an International Advisory Board consisting of House members in 2007, the Houses gained direct input in an advisory role to HRHF’s board, as well as input concerning the admittance of new members. (The International Advisory Board is replaced by a new mechanism in 2018).