HRCnet

HRCnet was established in 2006 to enhance NGO engagement with the Human Rights Council and to strengthen the Council’s impact and influence on the ground. Over the last ten years, HRCnet members working in coordination and solidarity, or as a network as a whole, have contributed significantly to some of the most important initiatives and outputs of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.

HRCnet’s membership comprises 14 NGOs and organisations working at the international level and across almost all regions:

Africa

  • African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (The Gambia)
  • DefendDefenders (East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Network) (Uganda)
  • Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network (Zimbabwe)
  • West African Human Rights Defenders Network (Togo)

Asia

  • Asian Legal Resource Centre (Hong Kong, China)
  • Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA) (Thailand)
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (India)

Latin America

  • Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) (Argentina)
  • Conectas Direitos Humanos (Brazil)

Middle East and North Africa

  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (Egypt)
  • Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (Egypt)

International

  • Human Rights Watch (USA)
  • International Service for Human Rights (Switzerland)
  • Open Society Foundations (USA)

HRCnet members have substantially shaped debates and made influential policy proposals on country situations, as well as thematic and institutional issues. HRCnet works to:

  • Safeguard civil society:  through securing actions by key actors that have, in a number of cases, assisted in the release of human rights defenders from detention or in alleviating pressure on NGOs.
  • Enhance access: by assisting rights holders from the Global South in engaging with the international human rights system and strengthening capacity to influence States, and harness civil society, from all regions.
  • Amplify impact: by facilitating coordination and collaboration between international and regional NGOs.
  • Promote accountability: seeking the establishment of commissions of inquiry or other independent expert mechanisms to investigate and promote accountability for gross human rights violations.
  • Enhance scrutiny: through the mandating of new Special Procedures to monitor human rights and document violations.
  • Strengthen protection:  through the establishment of new Special Procedures and other mechanisms.

For more information, please contact Michael Anthony, HRCnet Coordinator, m.anthony@ishr.ch