Civil Rights Defenders

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Civil Rights Defenders
CRD Logo.png
Founded1982; 37 years ago (1982)
TypeNon-profit
NGO
Human rights organisation
Registration no.802011-1442 (Sweden)
FocusHuman rights
Civil and political rights
HeadquartersSergels torg 12
Stockholm
Sweden
Area served
Eastern Europe
Central Asia
Europe
Southeast Asia
Latin America
East Africa
Key people
Anders Petterson, Executive Director[1]; Benedicte Berner, Chair of the Board[2]; Gerald Nagler, Founder and Honorary Chair of the Board[3]
Websitewww.civilrightsdefenders.org
Formerly called
Swedish Helsinki Committee[4]

Civil Rights Defenders (Formerly the Swedish Helsinki Committee[5]) is an international non-governmental organisation based in Stockholm, Sweden that does human rights work with a focus on civil and political rights[6]. They primarily work to support local human rights defenders by providing them with capacity building, training, and funding, as well as security and emergency support for human rights defenders at risk.[7]

Founded in 1982 as the Swedish Helsinki Committee, the original focus of Civil Rights Defenders was to monitor and support the civil rights portion of the Helsinki Accords. In 2009, the organisation changed its name to Civil Rights Defenders[8] and it now works in Sweden[9], Eastern Europe[10], Central Asia[11], Southeast Asia[12], the Western Balkans[13], Latin America[14], and in East & Horn of Africa[15].

History[edit]

Civil Rights Defenders was founded in 1982 as the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (Svenska Helsingforskommittén för mänskliga rättigheter) to monitor compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, along with Helsinki Committees for Human Rights in several countries.[16] Gerald Nagler, who also co-founded the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, was the founder of the Swedish Helsinki Committee, and then also Chairman of the organisation from 1992 until 2004. Robert Hårdh led the organisation as Secretary General from 2000 until 2009 and then as Executive Director until 2017 [17].

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the organisation also worked to monitor and improve the human rights situation in the former Yugoslavia throughout the conflicts of the 1990s.[18] In 2009, the Swedish Helsinki Committee changed its name to Civil Rights Defenders, [19] and began working in additional regions of the world with the primary mission to support local human rights groups in repressive countries.[20] They also now act as a watchdog human rights organisation in Sweden.[21]

Natalia Project[edit]

The Natalia Project is an alarm system for human rights defenders at risk that helps to ensure the survival of human rights defenders. It was launched in 2013, and is named after Natalia Estemirova, a Russian human rights activist and recipient of the Right Livelihood Award who was abducted and murdered in 2009 while working to document cases of human rights abuses in Chechnya.[22]

The device uses cellphone and satellite navigation technology to transmit an alarm signal that its bearer is in acute danger. Triggering the alarm transmits data about the bearer's location and personal details to enable a local and global response. Each Natalia Project participant receives security training and develops an incident response protocol based on their specific circumstances. [23]

Defenders’ Days and Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award[edit]

Since 2013, Civil Rights Defenders has organised the human rights conference Defenders’ Days, now held in Stockholm every two years. The conference is focused on capacity building for human rights defenders from repressive countries.[24][25]

Civil Rights Defenders also annually awards the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award to a human rights defender. According to Civil Rights Defenders, the award is given to someone who “despite the risk to his or her own safety, strives to ensure that people’s civil and political rights are recognised and protected. Their work is carried out without the use of violence and within an independent human rights organisation.”[26]

Previous Defender of the Year Award recipients are:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://www.sida.se/contentassets/486d511ad4b24e04b170034427e2b3ad/the-swedish-helsinki-committee-programme-in-the-western-balkans-1999-2003_2154.pdf
  6. ^ "About Us". Civil Rights Defenders. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ http://www.sida.se/contentassets/24b52bf509f04e2d9dd3fa9c9858b6ed/review-of-civil-society-organisations-in-moldova_3242.pdf
  9. ^ Gäst (2017-12-12). "Slumpvis utvald eller etnisk profilering?". ETC (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  10. ^ http://www.sida.se/contentassets/24b52bf509f04e2d9dd3fa9c9858b6ed/review-of-civil-society-organisations-in-moldova_3242.pdf
  11. ^ Hume, Tim (2017-09-28). "Azerbaijan police launch brutal crackdown on LGBTQ community". Vice News. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Lipkin, Joan (2017-11-12). "Belgrade Pride: Authenticity in the face of violence". www.lgbtqnation.com. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  14. ^ "Erik Jennische: Allvarlig kris som landet lever i" - Nyheterna - tv4.se". www.tv4.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  15. ^ https://www.omvarlden.se/Opinion/debattartiklar/upp-till-bevis-sverige/
  16. ^ "Parked at Loopia". www.levrikare.se. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  17. ^ https://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/news/svenska-efter-19-ar-pa-civil-rights-defenders-gar-robert-hardh-vidare-till-nytt-spannande-uppdrag/
  18. ^ "Openaid.se". Openaid.se. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  19. ^ http://www.sida.se/contentassets/24b52bf509f04e2d9dd3fa9c9858b6ed/review-of-civil-society-organisations-in-moldova_3242.pdf
  20. ^ "Working for Human Rights: The Work is Never Done | School of Public Policy". spp.ceu.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  21. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Roma Register: State guilty of ethnic discrimination - Radio Sweden". sverigesradio.se. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  22. ^ Isaacson, Betsy (2013-04-08). "A Bracelet That Protects Activists From Murder". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  23. ^ "Smart bracelet protects aid workers". 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  24. ^ "Erik Helmerson: Putin skapar ett nytt Sovjet". DN.SE (in Swedish). 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  25. ^ Platform, European Liberties. "Defenders' Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk". Liberties.eu. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2017-12-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "(English) Nataša Kandić – Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2013 - Fond za humanitarno pravo/Humanitarian Law Center/Fondi për të Drejtën Humanitare | Fond za humanitarno pravo/Humanitarian Law Center/Fondi për të Drejtën Humanitare". www.hlc-rdc.org. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  28. ^ "Ales Bialiatski: Civil Rights Defender of the Year". World Movement for Democracy. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  29. ^ Press, Associated (2017-06-29). "Vietnamese blogger jailed for 10 years for 'defaming' regime". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  30. ^ "Intigam Aliyev Civil Rights Defender Of The Year". Azadlıq Radiosu (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2018 – Murat Çelikkan". Civil Rights Defenders. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2019-06-07.