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Human Rights Defenders

About Us

HRD is a non-profit and independent civil society organization campaigning to defend human rights and to help people facing persecution all around the world and with a special focus on Turkey.

HRD was established in 2018 Cologne-Germany, by Turkish lawyers, former bureaucrats and entrepreneurs who are political-asylum seekers in Germany and Europe.

HRD is preparing reports concerning human rights violations, establishing contacts to other Human Rights NGO`s and stakeholders, State Officials and regional as well as international organizations.

HRD is also giving legal advice to victims, initiating litigation procedures on behalf of the victims and preparing official petitions and communications to the relevant UN Human Rights Mechanisms.

What We Do?

HRD e.V. helps victims obtain justice by using two different legal channels, either in combination or independently: criminal law and human rights. In both cases, individual victims have suffered severe abuse and the crimes are similar in nature. However, while criminal law deals with individual acts, human rights deals with the responsibility of the state.

Most cases handled by HRD are first dealt with at the national level, applying the criminal laws of the respective country. If this is not sufficient, HRD turns to the international level, e.g. to the European Court of Human Rights or to the competent organs of the United Nations. Our goal is to prove that the state was unwilling or unable to solve the crime and provide truth and reparation to the victims.

Advocacy for us means: arguing for a cause, raising awareness and influencing decision makers. HRD advocates for the rights of victims of international crimes, their families and their defenders, and ensures that their voices are heard by national authorities and international bodies.

To this end, HRD uses a combination of methods, such as research, reports, and meetings with decision makers. We seek partnerships with local actors, NGOs and/or lawyers.

HRD e.V. regularly publishes reports, reviews and other publications. They are usually produced to inform the general public, but may also be aimed at influential stakeholders (special rapporteurs, government members and officials, regional institutions, etc.) to support HRD e.V.’s lobbying efforts.

As HRD e.V., we advocate that it is not enough to try cases that would only bring justice to individual victims: what is needed is systemic change for all victims of the same crimes. In countries like Turkey, where serious human rights violations are committed and impunity is the norm, the only way to permanently improve the situation of victims is to use all available legal options, not only at the national level, but also at the regional and international levels.

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