Human Rights House Network (HRHN)
The Human Rights House Network is a community of human rights defenders working for more than 100 independent organisations operating in 16 Human Rights Houses in 13 countries. Empowering, supporting and protecting human rights defenders, the Network members unite their voices to promote the universal freedoms of assembly, association and expression and the right to be a human rights defender.
Human Rights House (HRH): The Concept
HRH is a working community of human rights organisations. Each HRH consists of three to ten local human rights organisations. The concept of a HRH was made by experienced human rights defenders who shared the vision of being stronger together on both national and international levels, but still preserving the uniqueness of each organisation that joins the Network.
By joining and establishing a HRH, the human rights organisations are able to:
- Enhance co-operation and joint activities by bringing human rights groups together in one location
- Make member organizations more visible and accessible at the national, regional and international levels
- Save costs by sharing facilities such as conference rooms, human rights documentation centres, libraries, etc.
- Improve security of human rights defenders
HRHN believes that human rights organisations stand stronger together so efficient national, regional and international networks are crucial to belong to. They give the human rights defenders courage to know that someone is watching, someone will protest and inform the world when atrocities occur. Networks can also ensure that the local voices are brought forward to the regional and international arena. Stronger networks are something the Special Rapporteurs and Commissioners on Human Rights Defenders strongly advocate for - due to their ability to mobilise rapid action when needed.
Thus, all their activities are aimed to protect, empower and support human rights organisations locally and unite them in an international network of Human Rights Houses.
HRHN was formally established in 1994 and in 2015 has members in the following countries: Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia, Georgia, Norway, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Republic of Poland, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In total, the HRHN is represented by approximately 100 local human rights organisations in the following four regions: Eastern Europe and Caucasus, Western Balkans and Western Europe.