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The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy ranks among our oldest departments. It is devoted to the protection of civil activists and the support of organisations and movements that seek to respect human rights, civil liberties and democratic processes in their countries. Our goal is to strengthen these activists and organisations within the civil societies of their respective countries.

The three pillars of our work

1) Protection of civil activists

We provide comprehensive protection to people who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. We help lawyers, journalists, activists, artists, and bloggers at risk of physical, psychological, or other harm from the state. In 2022 alone, we provided protection and assistance to 776 people in 20 countries. Our work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Relocation to safety: in 2022, we relocated 385 people to safer countries or safer places in crisis regions; this is a significant increase on the figure from 2021.
  • Mental health and psychosocial support: we provided psychosocial support to 668 people in 2022.
  • Direct assistance to human rights defenders, political prisoners, the politically persecuted, and their families. We provide direct assistance in various forms—monetary, legal, and psychological —to people who are persecuted for defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • Safety training: under the guidance of safety experts, we provide at-risk individuals with training on risk and danger prevention.

2) Capacity development

We support organisations and independent civic initiatives with the aim of enabling their professional and institutional development. In 2022, we supported civil society actors with 194 projects and grants in various forms, areas of focus, and funding levels. Our work includes:

  • Educational activities: we organise trainings, workshops, study tours, and internships aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of our beneficiaries.
  • Programmes for exiled activists: in 2022, we launched a new training program aimed at building capacity for exiled journalists and human rights defenders. This programme will provide these activists with the skills and knowledge they need to continue their activities in their new environments.
  • Support for emerging civil society and young activists: based on the mutual sharing of knowledge, skills and experience, we connect civil activists and strengthen partnerships between them.
  • Working with journalists: journalists are among our key beneficiaries. Moldova, Nicaragua, Ukraine—these are just a few examples of countries where we help journalists do their work.
  • Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund: Lifeline is a consortium of seven major international NGOs, including People in Need, which provides financial and technical support to civil activists and organisations to strengthen their activities.

3) Advocacy

An integral part of the work of our human rights team is advocacy meetings with key politicians and political representatives at the national and international levels. Annually, we participate in scores of such meetings in the Czech Republic and abroad. We use such meetings to inform legislators and political representatives about the problems facing human rights activists and propose activities and changes that would improve their fate and lead to systemic changes. Our work includes:

  • Organising events, debates and public campaigns.
  • Training and supporting local activists in advocacy and communication skills.
  • Supporting local civic organisations through grants to support their own campaigns.
  • Organising meetings of human rights activists with legislative and executive figures.
  • Supporting the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in target countries.
  • Creation of analytical studies and recommendations on the state of human rights in target countries.
  • Participation in regional, national and international networks and alliances (EPD, Lifeline, Civic Solidarity Platform and others)
  • Awarding the Homo Homini Human Rights Prize to individuals who have made significant contributions to the defence and development of human rights.
  • Organisation of the One World International Human Rights Film Festival in Brussels and the SOMOS festival in Costa Rica.

​Where we help

We currently work on 4 continents and in 20 countries and regions: in Eastern Europe (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine), Central Asia, Latin America (Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, and Nicaragua), North Africa (Egypt, Libya) and Southeast Asia (Vietnam). We also help Russian activists who continue their work in exile.

We are a member of Lifeline, a consortium of seven NGOs supporting human rights organisations and activists worldwide who face restrictions from their governments.

We also present the annual Homo Homini Human Rights Award and host the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.

Here you can download the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy leaflet.

Where we helped in 2022:

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How we help

Where we help