Activism and advocacy
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee derives its name from the 1975 Helsinki conference, which laid the foundation of the OSCE. As a result, the area of activity for the NHC is largely (although not exclusively) that of the OSCE participating states, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, the OSCE as an organisation is of high importance to many (lobby) activities of the NHC.
Human Rights advocacy
Besides project management and the publication of Security and Human Rights, the NHC monitors compliance with human rights standards of states and, where necessary and appropriate, presses the issue to bring them in line with the Final Helsinki Act and the OSCE's principles. Venues for lobby activities include OSCE meetings, conferences, and talks on specific issues with (Dutch) authorities and other NGOs. Much of this work takes place together with other civil society organisations or through the exchange of information with like-minded organisations.
The NHC further strives to stimulate discussion and awareness of recent developments concerning Human Rights in the Netherlands and the rest of the OSCE area by organising debates and conferences.
The NHC is a member of various cooperation networks and coalitions, of which some are permanent and others set up for a particular activity in a limited timeframe. A notable example of the second was the coalition of organisations that organised the 2010 and 2011 civil society ‘parallel conferences,' held on the eve of the annual OSCE Head of Government Summit in 2010 and the 2011 ministerial conference.
The NHC is a founding member of the OSCE-wide Civic Solidarity Platform, which was established in December 2010. It is also a member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, and participates in the Fundamental Rights Platform of the European Union.
Within the Netherlands, the NHC is a member of ‘Breed Mensenrechtenoverleg', a coalition of fourteen Dutch Human Rights NGOs which co-ordinates advocacy directed towards Dutch foreign and (since 2008) domestic policy makers. The NHC is also a member of Partos, the umbrella association for Dutch non-profit organisations in the development cooperation sector.
The NHC further takes part in the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a network of over 2000 organisations that strive to improve international cooperation with the ICC.
For more examples of our various recent activities, see the following and other news messages. You can be kept up to date of current and future events and activities by subscribing to our newsletter on the right.
For over 25 years the NHC has committed itself to promoting and protecting human rights and the rule of law in Europe.
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