What is advocacy?

To advocate means to give voice to a specific concern, especially on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Each year thousands of people suffer torture, mistreatment, imprisonment and even death simply for exercising basic freedoms that are guaranteed under international law. Advocacy organisations, such as Human Rights Without Frontiers, seek to defend the rights of those who might otherwise be forgotten and to make their voices heard in the corridors of power.

HRWF’s commitment to a more humane world

HRWF employs various forms of advocacy to help shape the international and European policy agenda for human rights. This can include several activities, such as publishing research, sharing information, organising public events or even speaking directly with political leaders on a particular issue.

The touchstone for HRWF’s advocacy is the body of international covenants and treaties that bind its parties to the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. These instruments include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and legal precedents set by decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

HRWF is one of the most active NGOs promoting human rights at the European Parliament and in other EU institutions. For greater effectiveness in its work of advocacy, HRWF actively participates in a number of networks and coalitions that seek to shape EU policy on human rights and democracy, such as the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), the European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID) and as a former advisory board member of the Platform for Secularism in Politics at the European Parliament (EPPSP). It is also a member of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).

Add to all these efforts HRWF’s activities at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), based in Vienna, and that makes for a full agenda! Human Rights Without Frontiers is committed to the defence of human rights and dignity worldwide. Together we can make a difference toward creating a more just and humane world.

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