Early history

“Droits de l’homme sans frontières” began as a bi-monthly magazine that was first published in June 1988. In January 1989, a legal entity named Bruxelles – Droits de l’Homme / Brussels – Human Rights/ Brüssel – Menschenrechte, which was the publisher of “Droits de l’homme sans frontières”, registered by Le Moniteur in Belgium.

In 1997, the original legal entity was renamed “Droits de l’homme sans frontières – Human Rights Without Frontiers” because its activities were increasingly taking place both in French and in English. In November 2014, it was renamed “Droits de l’homme sans frontières/ Belgique” and registered by Le Moniteur  with its seat in Wallonia.


In January 2001, a new legal entity “Human Rights Without Frontiers International” having its base in Brussels was registered by Le Moniteurin Belgium because an increasing number of foreign NGOs wanted to join us as partners and some independent branches started to be created in Nepal and the US.


Both entities in Belgium are mainly financed by foundations and donations. Other financial sources: non-governmental projects, research works, fact-finding missions, conferences, organising events…

Current organisation

Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF Int’l) is a non-profit association that seeks to shape European and international policy in ways that strengthen democracy, uphold the rule of law and protect human rights globally. The organisation is composed of a number of national branches in Belgium, Bhutan, Chad, Hong Kong, Nepal and the United States and works with associated member organisations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Japan, Moldova, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia and South Korea.

Since its inception, the executive director has been Willy Fautré, a long-standing human rights activist.

HRWF Int’l conducts research, field missions, analysis and monitoring of a wide range of human rights concerns in many countries around the world. An international network of correspondents provides the NGO with first-hand information.

HRWF Int’l works to strengthen the culture of human rights by sharing information, publishing reports and organising seminars and events that educate policy makers and inform the general public. HRWF Int’l focuses particular attention on freedom of religion or belief, women’s rights and gender equality, LGBTQI people and human rights, and human rights violations in China, North Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The foundation for HRWF Int’l advocacy is the body of international covenants and treaties that bind its parties to the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms. These instruments include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 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.

The organisation addresses its advocacy primarily through EU institutions, the United Nations, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

A World Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief is published annually as well as an annual listing of those who have been imprisoned for reasons of religion or belief.

Other recent reports (2013-2014) include: Religion, LGBT People & Human Rights – Abduction of Japanese Citizens by North Korea – Hindu Extremist Movements and their Impact of Religious Minorities – MISA, Grigorian Bivolaru & Yoga Practitioners in Romania – European Court Jurisprudence on “sect” related issues, and so on.

HRWF Int’l develops advocacy through the EU institutions, the FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency), the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations.


HRWF Int’l obtains funding through partnerships, donations, and foundations. HRWF Int’l has had a long-standing relationship with the Swiss-based Vogel Foundation and operates with series of grant-projects and commissioned research throughout the year.  HRWF Int’l annually participates in the European Commission transparency register and annually submits financial reports to the Belgian commercial court.

See our 2019 financial report


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