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Bring Human Rights Home: Winning Public Support for Human Rights

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

This basic principle forms the foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a globally recognized affirmation that all rights apply to everyone everywhere. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, everyone has the same rights.

But our ability to enjoy these fundamental freedoms remains fragile – because “human rights” seem like an abstract concept with little connection to our daily lives, or because claiming them may even be dangerous. In order to go back to the core and talk about what human rights mean for us all, we need to bring human rights home.

Through the #BringHumanRightsHome campaign, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, in partnership with human rights organisations from across Europe, is sharing the personal stories of courageous people from eight different countries whose rights were severely violated. Hailing from Azerbaijan, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Netherlands, they overcame opposition in court, personal threats, and financial hardship; stood up to actors much more powerful than themselves – yet never gave up. With the support of friends, family, and communities, they reclaimed their rights – for themselves, and ultimately, for us all.

Their stories stand as a powerful reminder that we can all stand up for human rights.

Join us to #BringHumanRightsHome. Follow these stories. Stand up for human rights in your own communities.

A Story from The Netherlands

A Story from Ukraine, in partnership with ZMINA Human Rights Centre

A Story from Hungary, in partnership with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

A Story from Turkey, in partnership with Association for Monitoring Equal Rights

A Story from Kazakhstan, in partnership with Public Association Dignity

A Story from Azerbaijan, in partnership with Baku Human Rights Club

A Story from Russia, in partnership with Human Rights Center Memorial

A Story from Poland, in partnership with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Milestones in Bringing Human Rights Home

Learn more about the two main events that we hosted surrounding the stories:

About the Human Rights Defence Programme

We believe safeguarding human rights is the responsibility of all people because everyone benefits from having these rights. Those with the knowledge and courage to defend our rights should be encouraged to do so and supported in their endeavours. They should not be persecuted, tried, nor convicted for championing our fundamental freedoms. The Human Rights Defence Programme works towards broadly spreading the message that human rights are important for everyone in society. This is done in order to increase the public’s support for human rights—and for those that defend them—so their work towards positive changes in society can continue and everyone can live in a more peaceful and just world.

About the NHC

Our mission is to build and secure justice and compliance with international human rights agreements among OSCE participating states. Established in 1987, we represented Dutch civil society in the Helsinki Movement. For over 30 years, we have helped build bridges between public institutions, international organisations, practitioners, and civil society. We look at the big picture, taking a holistic approach in strengthening the rule of law, safe-guarding human rights, and building the capacity of civil society. We do so through our four programmes: Access to Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Human Rights Defence and Integrity & Accountability.

This campaign was made possible with the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.