Our Work & Who We Serve
We see our strength in our diversity of members and staff as well as in our will to use the law as a creative tool to oppose impunity. Although legal processes can be timely and costly, we see the hope that is derived from affected people and groups when the law is used for their protection and thus choose to use legal means not only for the legal precedent that can result from winning court cases, but also to ensure that victims of human rights violations are being protected and supported by the rule of law. Unfortunately, too often the pre-trial, judicial and penitentiary systems of States are flawed and ineffective; and in too many places is the judicial system used as a tool of oppression and subordination. We aim to challenge these flawed judicial systems by holding them accountable to the international standards and mechanisms found in international law, particularly in international human rights law.
Besides the issues with the judicial branch, the legislative and executive branches of States play an important preventive role, this is why a big focus point is trying to analyse draft and existing laws as well as monitoring its implementation and compliance with international human rights obligations, while also engaging both branches of States to ensure that poor legislation and implementation is avoided and challenged.
We see education as the first step to help create a more just and human rights friendly world and this is why we dedicate a great deal of our time educating ourselves and others. We think that no one is too young or too old to learn how to stand up for what is right and we are open to use a diverse set of techniques and tools at our disposal to be able to achieve this goal. We welcome anyone who wants to collaborate and offer trainings with us or to us.
In particular we see the importance of working with human rights defenders (HRD) as they are the catalyst group to help achieve our vision of a human rights friendly world.They are the first line of protection of human rights and dignity, those who shed light to the abuses, those who are hard-working and devoting their lives for preventing conflicts and stabilizing peace. They care for human security as an essence of security in general. HRD’s expose their lives and at times their loved ones to uphold the principles embedded in a democratic society and challenge those who exceed and abuse their power. The term HRD is used as an all-encompassing term to describe all those who regardless of reason work for the protection of others and their rights.
We see a need to offer special assistance to the protection of LGBTQI and Women (human rights) defenders in order to ensure that they are able to carry on their work with as little adversity as is possible. The risk and abuse faced by LGBTQI defenders is so severe and heinous, due to the innate hate and fear being perpetuated by far right-conservative and radicalist individuals and groups, which sadly has resurfaced into our societies and unleashed as hate crimes. They are victims of human rights violations not only because they are defending human rights of sexual minorities, but also because of who they are and how they choose to identify. This is why we have a specific program aimed at achieving an extra shield of protection.
HRM is also aware that the world we live in is one where war and armed conflict is sadly a consistent reality and this is why we choose to focus on a special and uncommon group which intersects both the protections found in human rights law and the law of armed conflict. Too many times have there been armed forces who are the active perpetrators of human rights violations, botched up military operations, and blatant disregard for human rights during crisis management operations. This happens not only because armed forces personnel feel unlimited power and control over the situation, but also because some of them have been subjected to abuse in the training period. Besides this, another problem is that the armed forces personnel are isolated from civilian society, which affect negatively the development of civil-military relations. In short, civilians and its acting organs have less oversight and trust towards armed forces personnel and institutions, and vice versa armed forces personnel are indifferent towards civilians’ needs. Personnel serving in the armed forces should be seen in their proper role as first “citizens” and second “citizens serving in uniform”, their rights as citizens do not cease to exist when the uniform comes on, however limited their rights are, they still have the need to have their fundamental and human rights protected and safeguarded. If society expects their armed forces to respect others’ human rights, then the governmental institutions should start by respecting their own armed forces personnel rights, beginning with the recruiting process (conscript/draftees). We believe if the armed forces are trained and treated with the necessary respect for their rights starting from the recruiting all the way up to their retirement, they can become a true force to uphold and defend not only the interest of the States, but they can also protect the legitimizer of States: their citizen (themselves included) and all those residing in the States territories during adverse times. If we teach armed forces personnel at all levels to look beyond the protection of territories, government officials and or cooperate executives and interest; and look to the protection of people we may have real shot to help mitigate impunity, war casualties and corruption.
Human Rights Matter ist derzeit in vier verschiedenen Bereichen tätig: Schutz von Menschenrechtsverteidigern, Anti-Folter, Menschenrechte im Militär, und LGBTQI (Gleichberechtigung von Homosexuellen, Transsexuellen, Queer und Intersexuellen). Unsere Aktivitäten konzentrieren sich auf den Schutz von Menschen in Risikogruppen sowie auf die Beeinflussung von Gesetzgebungsverfahren, um die Integrierung rechtlicher Prinzipien in nationales Recht zu bewirken.
Human Rights Matter ist daran gelegen, mit anderen Organisationen zusammenzuarbeiten, um effektive Maßnahmen auf regionaler, nationaler und internationaler Ebene zu koordinieren.