human rights news & views


Defend human rights by supporting or joining (or starting) a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or inter-governmental organisation (IGO).  Here's some ideas for where to start:


tackles poverty, injustice and inequality in 42 countries using a human rights approach (based in Johannesburg)

Amnesty International
works in over 150 countries to promote all human rights the world over, especially physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination

Anti-Slavery International
the world’s oldest international human rights organization (based in London)

Article 19
promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information
Campaign against the Arms Trade (CAAT)
a coalition of groups and individuals working to end the international arms trade

Centre on Housing Rights & Evictions
promotes and protects the right to housing for everyone, everywhere (based in Geneva)

Derechos Human Rights
focuses on human rights in Latin America (based in California and Belgium)

Disabled Peoples’ International
a network of organisations promoting the human rights of people with disabilities

Global Witness
investigates environmental abuses from a human rights angle

Human Rights Watch
investigates and publicizes human rights abuses around the world and lobbies government officials

International Council on Human Rights Policy
researches problems facing human rights organisations (based in Geneva)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
founded in 1922, a network of 141 human rights organisations in over 100 countries (HQ in Paris)

International P.E.N./Writers in Prison Committee
fights for freedom of expression and defends writers and artists suffering under oppressive regimes

promotes the effective use of law to protect human rights world-wide

Islamic Relief
development and disaster relief

Jesuit Refugee Service
'accompanies, serves and defends' the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people

Jubilee Debt Campaign
promotes the effective use of law to protect human rights world-wide

Landmine Action
works to eliminate landmines and other explosive remnants of war

Minority Rights Group (MRG)
campaigns for minority and indigenous rights

Peace Brigades International
sends volunteers to ‘accompany’ human rights defenders threatened by political violence

Penal Reform International (PRI)
works for abolition of the death penalty, alternatives to prison and prisoners’ rights (in over 80 countries)

People’s Movement for Human Rights Education
publishes and disseminates demand-driven human rights training manuals and teaching materials

Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies
disaster relief, health and social programmes, and assistance to people affected by war (in 183 countries)

Physicians for Human Rights
takes a rights-based and evidence-based approach to health (open to all, not just health professionals)

seeks reparation for torture survivors

supports the human rights, land rights and self-determination of indigenous peoples world-wide

United Nations Associations
a people’s movement supporting the United Nations (in over 100 countries)

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
works with governments to secure children’s rights

provides domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people (based in London)

Women Living under Muslim Laws
links, informs & supports women whose rights are infringed by 'laws & customs said to derive from Islam' (in over 70 countries)
World Organization against Torture (OMCT)
a coalition of nearly 300 NGOs campaigning against torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearance & extrajudicial executions (based in Geneva and Brussels)


Centre for Conflict Resolution
works constructively, creatively and co-operatively towards a just peace in Africa

Centre for Democracy & Development
conducts policy research and training to promote peace and democracy in West Africa (based in Nigeria)

Center for the Study of Violence & Reconciliation
attempts interventions to prevent violence (based in South Africa)

Institute for Security Studies
conducts research on human security (in sub-Saharan Africa)

Justice Africa (JA)
does research and advocates for peace and human rights in Africa (HQ in London)

Pambazuka News ('Arise' or 'Awaken')
a weekly round-up of African news with a progressive bent (Cape Town)

Tostan (‘Breakthrough’)
a women’s health and human rights NGO (based in Senegal) 


Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
represents indigenous Canadians

Center for Legal and Social Studies

addresses poverty, human rights issues, HIV/AIDS, inequality, cultural loss and environmental degradation

Egale Canada
advances equality and justice for sexual minorities and their families

international center for human rights education

Fighting Against Forced Disappearances in Latin America (FEDEFAM)

John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
human rights education NGO with a specific focus on children and youth

KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
a dynamic church-based social justice and human rights movement

Mining Watch Canada
works to change public policy and mining practices that impinge on environmental and indigenous rights

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Landless Workers' Movement of Brazil
Partnership Africa Canada
Rigoberta Menchu Foundation

Asia Pacific

Asia Human Rights Commission
Asia Pacific Human Rights Network
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)a network of mainly non-Indigenous organizations and individuals working in support of justice for indigenous Australians

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative  Human Rights Commission of Pakistan  International Women's Rights Action Watch – Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP)

New Matilda
an online magazine campaigning for a Human Rights Act for Australia


Project Respect
challenges exploitation of and violence against women in the sex industry, with a particular focus on women trafficked to Australia (based in Melbourne)

Remedy Australia
advocates for full implementation of views by UN treaty bodies on individual communications

Rights Australia
campaigns for more effective protection of human rights in Australia 


Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE)
including direct legal advice and educational materials (based in London) 

British Institute of Human Rights
raises awareness about British human rights issues
British-Irish Rights Watch
monitors human rights in Northern Ireland
Committee on the Administration of Justice
European Commission Against Racism & Intolerance
European Commission for the Prevention of Torture & Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
European Council on Refugees & Exiles
an umbrella organization of 80 refugee-assisting agencies in 30 countries (based in London)
European Monitoring Centre on Racism & Xenophobia
European Roma Rights Centre

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Kurdish Human Rights Project
protects human rights of Kurds, especially by bringing cases to the European Court of Human Rights

lobbies government, pursues test cases, undertakes research

Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture
provides care and rehabilitation to survivors of torture and other forms of organized violence

Middle East

Arab Commission for Human Rights
Arab Institute for Human Rights
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Palestinian Center for Human Rights