Human Rights Defenders Network

Human Rights Defenders Network

Project Active: July 2006 – April 2008

The Iraq Foundation received a grant in 2006 from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) to train and build a network of Iraqi NGOs to carry out human right monitoring, documentation, reporting, and advocacy. The project was a natural progression from the Human Rights Education project that IF undertook in Iraq, and was another crucial step towards safeguarding constitutional rights for all Iraqis. The Iraq Foundation partnered with Brussels-based Human Rights without Frontiers (HRWF) to provide training for Iraqi NGOs, and worked collaboratively with the Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) and the High Commission for Human Rights on the project.

Throughout the course of the project, the Iraq Foundation also undertook a Human Rights Education Project that provided human rights education at the grass roots level. The Human Rights Defenders Network (HRDN) took this broad based educational effort to the next level by providing implementation capability. As a necessary evolution of the work on human rights education carried out by the Iraq Foundation with other organizations, Iraqi NGOs developed a monitoring, documentation and advocacy capability that is consistent with internationally acceptable standards. The idea behind HRDN is to contribute to the development of local human rights monitoring and advocacy capability and infrastructure to secure this capacity.

Participating NGOs had mandates that include the protection of the rights of women, children, and religious and ethnic minorities. IF aimed for geographic distribution of participating NGOs to ensure that regional NGOs receive training. The training was provided by Human Rights Without Frontiers, a network of European institutions headquartered in Brussels, and focused on internationally accepted standards and methodologies of monitoring, documentation techniques and criteria, reporting, and advocacy strategies and tools.

Following training, the Iraq Foundation coordinated a “Human Rights Defenders Network” through which participating NGOs can exchange information and experiences and evolve common strategies and activities. IF acted as a participant in and clearing house for HRDN, and assisted the formation of “sub-networks”, based on regions and issues.

Last Update: Monday, September 13, 2016