NHC and CILC project: Support to the probation service and the system of alternative sanctions in Montenegro
11 - 12 - 2013
Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the Center for International Legal Cooperation are proud to announce that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accorded them the project “Support to the probation service and the system of alternative sanctions in Montenegro”. The project is financed through MATRA/CoPROL - a funding scheme developed to enhance capacities of mainly government institutions in European Union Pre-Accession countries by Dutch government institutions.
9 - 12 - 2013
Het Nederlands Helsinki Comité en haar Nederlandse partner het Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) hebben vandaag zeven aandachtspunten voor de Nederlandse missie naar Mali gepubliceerd. De aandachtspunten richten zich op de inzet van Nederland, en andere donoren, op rechtsstaatsopbouw en toegang tot het recht in Mali. De zeven aandachtspunten zijn gepubliceerd op Vice Versa Online.
6 - 12 - 2013
The Civil Society Parallel Conference, held in Kiev from 2 to 4 December by the Civic Solidarity Platform, issued an urgent call on the human dimension situation in Ukraine. Of particular concern was the brutal beating of peaceful demonstrators in the centre of Kiev in the 30 November / 1 December night. These actions by law enforcement troops violated both Ukraine’s Constitution and Ukraine’s international obligations and OSCE commitments related to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and prohibition of torture and other cruel treatment.
27 - 11 - 2013
In October and November of this year three training sessions were organized for social workers who provide legal counselling to victims of human trafficking in Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria
30 - 10 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee, together with the Child Rights Defenders League of Kyrgyzstan, organized a training on writing a United Nations shadow report and undertaking advocacy with the report. The training was held from 25-27 October 2013 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. There were 12 participants from Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan.
16 - 10 - 2013
On Friday, October 18, a delegation of representatives from the Belarusian “National Referendum” campaign will visit The Hague. As part of the visit the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) will host a public roundtable discussion.
15 - 10 - 2013
The NHC joined a call by members of the Civic Solidarity Platform against increasing usage of methods of punitive psychiatry in a number of post-Soviet states. Over thirty organisations signed a statement denouncing the practice of use of compulsory medical treatment for pressure on civic activists, citing recent cases in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The organisations ask for an immediate and unequivocal international reaction, and for opposition to these practices by the professional psychiatrists’ community.
14 - 10 - 2013
At the invitation of the Malian Ministry of Justice, CILC (Center for International Legal Cooperation) and the NHC visited Mali for the duration of two weeks as part of the first stage of a study on the nation's criminal justice system. The study is a cooperative effort by the Malian Ministry of Justice, the Netherlands Embassy in Mali, CILC, and the NHC, and will make use of Malian consultants as well as a small team of international experts.
10 - 10 - 2013
On 5-7 October EU-Russia Civil Society Forum held its 4th General Assembly in The Hague (the Netherlands). More than 120 civil society actors from Russia and EU member states gathered at the Assembly, including both members of the Forum and organisations having an observer status. The main resolution of the Assembly, “Connecting Cooperation with Solidarity”, called for solidarity actions for member organisations under pressure and urged governments of EU and Russia to address growing social inequality, rise of xenophobia and discrimination and the threat of unlawful access of personal data in the Internet, among other concerns, and called on them to engage in meaningful dialogue with civil society. Among the members newly elected to the Steering Committee of the Forum was Harry Hummel, Executive Director of the NHC.
30 - 09 - 2013
In a side event at the 2013 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee explored the role of education in the discrimination of LGBT persons.
30 - 09 - 2013
In a statement on 30 September, the NHC presented the Balkans ACT Now! project at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE. The statement introduced the situation analysis that was carried out under the project and highlighted the civil society Declaration adopted on 19 September. It called on governments to honour international commitments with respect to victims of human trafficking and to prioritize their proper protection in national policies.
24 - 09 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee applauds the government statement that human rights are the cornerstone of the foreign policy of the Netherlands. For this statement to be made true, further integration of human rights in all aspects of foreign relations is needed. More emphasis should be put on truthful implementation by all states of their international human rights obligations and the outcome of international procedures, such as the verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights.
20 - 09 - 2013
From 5 till 7 October over 50 Russian Non-Governmental Organisations will visit The Hague to attend a Forum meeting with colleague organisations form the European Union. Important issues on the agenda are the mutual cooperation between these organisations and the relations between the Russian Federation and the EU.
19 - 09 - 2013
The Balkans Declaration on Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beings was signed on September 19, 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia. The event was organized under the project BALKANS ACT (Against Crime of Trafficking) NOW! of which the NHC is a partner.
19 - 09 - 2013
The NHC joined an appeal by members of the Civic Solidarity Platform to parliament in Kyrgyzstan to reject a draft law that would restrict NGO activity. The appeal also calls on the EU and other international community actors to speak out against any legal initiatives that impede the operation of NGOs in ways incompatible with international human rights standards and to encourage the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to support and cooperate with civil society in the continued reform process in the country.
11 - 09 - 2013
The project "BALKANS ACT (Against Crime of Trafficking) NOW!", of which the Netherlands Helsinki Committee is a partner, has published a detailed situation analysis of human trafficking in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia. The joint project aims to address the situation of human trafficking in these four states, as well as the rights of victims, and the contribution NGOs can have in strengthening democratization processes and the rule of law.
10 - 09 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee, with the Public Foundation Nota Bene, Human Rights Center, and Child’s Rights Center, issued a joint statement to CEDAW regarding the rights to reproductive health in the Republic of Tajikistan.
6 - 09 - 2013
"Belarus: Human Rights and Economy" will take place on September 12, 2013 in Amsterdam. The information and discussion event will address the human rights situation in Belarus and the economic sanctions and their effectiveness in light of the strong economic ties between Belarus and Europe, the Netherlands in particular. Belarussian labour conditions will also be discussed. The event will be attended by delegations from Belarus and Russia.
28 - 08 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee has sent a letter to the governor of the Voronezh region (Russia) appealing against the imminent closure of the Voronezh Human Rights House. The letter, signed by NHC director Harry Hummel, asks Mr. Aleksey Gordeev to give full support and assistance for the preservation of the House which is facing closure after local authorities decided against prolonging the rental agreement.
27 - 08 - 2013
Netherlands Helsinki Committee director Harry Hummel spoke at a protest against the Russian LGBT policy held on 25 August in Amsterdam. The protest was held just before the Constellation of Russia concert, an official Russian government contribution to the Netherlands – Russia Year. It was organized by LGBT NGOs COC and Pride United to draw attention to Russian policies to curtail freedom of expression on LGBT-issues, in particular through 'anti-propaganda' laws.
26 - 08 - 2013
During their time in detention, juveniles in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo are hardly able to work towards their reintegration into society. In cooperation with local human rights monitors and Dutch experts, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee has devised a project to create prison regimes which enable juveniles to enhance their capacities during their detention. The three year project started in June 2013 with funding from the Matra/CoPROL programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
14 - 08 - 2013
Judges, prosecutors and judicial academies in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina will be supported by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee to make sure the rights of victims of human trafficking are guaranteed during judicial procedures. Even though legislation on trafficking is largely in place in these countries, in practice the safety and protection of privacy of victims and witnesses is far from guaranteed. Therefore the NHC started the project ‘Promoting a victim-centered approach in trafficking cases in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina’ in June 2013.
25 - 07 - 2013
Netherlands Helsinki Committee's partner in Kyrgyzstan, the Child Rights Defender's League (Liga Zaschitnikov Prav Rebyonka) has coordinated the writing of a shadow report on the implementation by the Republic of Kyrgyzstan of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The report submitted by the the Republic of Kyrgyzstan will be considered by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in their May-June session 2014.
16 - 07 - 2013
For the rule of law to be realized, international human rights law must be taken fully on board, NHC director Harry Hummel said in a speech on 11 July 2013 in Vienna. Gaps in implementation of international guidance on human rights can be a matter of bad or understaffed management of implementation systems. But lack of political will often also is an issue, he said. In these cases civil society organizations can play an important role in pushing for full implementation.
16 - 07 - 2013
This year the NHC coordinates the annual General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, which will take place in The Hague on 5-7 October. The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is a platform aimed at promoting cooperation between civil society in Russia and the European Union. It's members are civil society organizations from EU countries and Russia. The activities of the third day of the Assembly, Monday October 7th, will be open to the public and are officially part of the Netherlands-Russia year 2013.
24 - 06 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee congratulates the Foundation Max van der Stoel on their establishment in June 2013. The new Foundation is linked to the Dutch Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid), of which Max van der Stoel was a member. The Foundation’s aim is to work internationally on Democracy, Development and Dialogue. It is a merger of the old Evert Vermeer and Alfred Mozer foundations.
20 - 06 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee supports the call of Amnesty International on the government of Turkey to end violent repression of protests in Turkey. What began as a demonstration to save a park in Istanbul has turned into a violent wave of repression against protestors throughout Turkey. Tens of thousands of people have attended anti-government demonstrations following shockingly excessive measures used by police to disperse peaceful demonstrators. Amateur video footage shows police officers beating protestors with batons, using tear gas and water cannons.
15 - 06 - 2013
The undersigned organizations call on you to prominently raise human rights issues when you meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels later this week. We fully support the letter sent to you by our Azerbaijani colleagues on June 14, 2013 highlighting a number of worrying trends in Azerbaijan.
12 - 06 - 2013
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE has decided to develop recommendations for the effective protection of human rights defenders. NHC director Harry Hummel attended an expert meeting on the subject on 10 and 11 June. He said: “Human rights defenders in a range of OSCE participating states are increasingly under pressure. The defense of human rights by citizens and by committed professionals and officials is key for the advancement of justice, equality and good governance.
21 - 05 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is one of the Dutch non-governmental organizations signing a statement of solidarity with Russian NGOs subject to large-scale inspections, often of an intimidatory nature, by government agents. The organizations condemn the crack-down on Russia’s NGO sector and will continue to call upon the policy makers in the Netherlands, the EU, and beyond to join in the efforts of local, regional, and global civil society organizations standing behind our counterparts in Russia, inciting the Russian government to engage in a dialogue with the human rights, environmental, social justice and LGBT movement in the country, and embrace the progression of free society.
2 - 05 - 2013
As a reaction to the deteriorating human rights situation in Central Asia a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between human rights NGOs from all five Central Asian countries. In the MoU the NGOs declare their commitment to continue their human rights work, they agree to coordinate their activities and cooperate on international level, provide mutual support and solidarity and they provide recommendations to international organizations.
29 - 04 - 2013
The Universal Periodic Review of Uzbekistan on 24 April 2013 by the UN Human Rights Council ended with the adoption of an outcome report containing a set of recommendations in Geneva on 26 April 2013. International Partnership for Human Rights, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan appeal to Uzbekistan's partners to champion the implementation of these recommendations in its relations with the Central Asian country.
25 - 04 - 2013
In April 2013 the Netherlands Helsinki Committee has started with the implementation of the project 'Enhancing professionalism in the Libyan Prison Service'. The aim of the project is to strengthen the penitentiary system in Libya and incorporate international human rights standards by sharing Netherlands experience and stimulating cooperation.
15 - 04 - 2013
In the second week of April, fifteen activists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for a training of trainers on a rights based approach to social policies relevant to women and children. The training was held in the context of the project: ‘Countering discrimination of women and children and promoting their rights by changing social and economic policies in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan’.
25 - 03 - 2013
In the last few weeks hundreds of NGOs in different parts of Russia have been subjected to inspections apparently aimed at determining whether they comply with legal requirements. According to an order from the General Prosecutor’s office, which has been published by media, regional prosecutors have been instructed to particularly look into the “lawfulness” of NGO funding, as well as possible signs of “extremism” in their activities.
8 - 02 - 2013
On 7 February, the Centre for Civil Liberties in Kiev partnered with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in organizing a conference on Freedom of Assembly and Association in the OSCE region. NGOs from a number of ex-USSR countries presented a generally bleak picture of the development of these freedoms in their countries. A positive exception was the new NGO-legislation in the Ukraine which came into force on 1 January 2013. This legislation provides a high degree of freedom of association and could serve as an example for other countries in the OSCE space. Implementation of this legislation is being monitored by Ukrainian NGOs.
7 - 02 - 2013
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee together with its project partners has held a conference on the human rights situation in Central Asia in Kiev on 6 February 2013. The conference was dedicated to formulating a Memorandum of Understanding between the NGOs present from all five Central Asian countries in which they declare their commitment and determination to carry on with their human rights work and they agree to cooperate, provide support and solidarity.
1 - 02 - 2013
In January 2013, The Netherlands Helsinki Committee has started with the implementation of the anti-trafficking project “Promotion of the Rights of Trafficked Persons in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with Emphasis on Legal Support – A Human Rights-Based Approach”. This project has been awarded a grant by the European Commission under the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme (ISEC).
31 - 01 - 2013
On 30 January, two European NGO-coalitions issued an appeal protesting recent arrests of scores of demonstrators in Baku, Azerbaijan, followed by heavy fines and in some cases by administrative detention. The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is a signatory to this appeal. It calls on the Council of Europe and the European Parliament to take into account these new repressive measures in their decision-making related to Azerbaijan.
28 - 01 - 2013
Nils Muiznieks, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe on the 25th of January called on the European Union to take a more determined role in addressing internal human rights issues. He was the key note speaker at the conference on The Future of Human Rights in Europe, organized by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.
Nils Muiznieks, the new Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, key note speaker on 25 January in The Hague
2 - 01 - 2013
Our first public event this year will be our Conference on 'The Future of Human Rights in Europe', scheduled on Friday 25 January 2013 from 10.00 till 16.30 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Haagse Hogeschool). We are honoured to announce Mr. Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as keynote speaker of our Conference. Mr Muiznieks has taken up his post on 1 April 2012. This is his first visit to The Netherlands. Registration for the conference is possible on the dedicated page on our website
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