Human Rights Without Frontiers

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Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF)
Formation 1989
Legal status Association without lucrative purpose
Purpose Advocacy of democracy, the rule of law, social justice, and human rights
Willy Fautré
Affiliations European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) is a non-governmental organization, registered since 1989 as an association without lucrative purpose in Belgium,[1] that «seeks to shape European and international policy in ways that strengthen democracy, uphold the rule of law and protect human rights globally[2]».


Founded in 1989 at Brussels (Belgium) and originally named "Brussels-Human Rights" ("Bruxelles-Droits de l'Homme" in French), this organization was formed by several defenders of Human Rights with the aim of promoting and defending human rights, the principles of the rule of law and democracy and published a bimonthly journal in French Droits de l’homme sans frontières.[3] It later adopt the name of its magazine : "Droits de l’homme sans frontières - Human Rights Without Frontiers".

Since its inception, the association’s executive director has been Willy Fautré, a long-standing human rights activist and member of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS).

In 1997, it was associated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, dissolved in 2007. In 2001, it was included within an international group "Human Rights Without Frontiers International", created with the aim to internationalize its action.

Human Rights Without Frontiers International[edit]

In order to broaden its scope and consolidate branches located in different countries, a new nonprofit organization was formed in 2001 under the name "Human Rights Without Frontiers International" or the abbreviated form "HRWF Int'l".[4]

The organisation has established national branches in Belgium, Bhutan, Chad, Hong Kong, Nepal and the United States and cooperates with associated member organisations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Japan, Moldova, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia and South Korea.[5]

According to its official website the NGO's main activities consist of research, field missions, analysis and monitoring of a wide range of human rights concerns in various countries. An international network of correspondents provides the organization with first-hand information on human rights violations. HRWF International focuses particularly on human rights issues such as freedom of religion or belief, trafficking in women for sexual exploitation, ethnic and linguistic minorities as well as human rights infringements in China, North Korea, Ukraine, Russia and the Middle East.[2]

The foundation for the organization's advocacy is the body of international covenants and treaties that obligates its signatories to the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms. Among those instruments are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and legal precedents set by decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. HRWF International carries out its advocacy mainly through EU institutions, the United Nations, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).[6]


The association HRWF International publishes newsletters, consisting of reports by HRWF correspondents or newspaper articles translated into English if necessary, by topics:

These news are aggregated in an annual report by theme and country, available to the public on its official website.

Research papers are sometimes written by the organization in English or French to be published in academic journals or on the website :

Other general policy and advocacy papers are prepared, to be presented at conferences or to official bodies such as the OSCE :


External links[edit]