About Us – Sweden’s International Human Rights Organisation

Streetview in Grozny 2005. Photo: Joanna KuroszEducation in Human Rights, Warsaw 2007. Photo: Joanna KuroszRepresentatives from our team in a meeting in Russia 2007

Civil Rights Defenders is an independent expert organisation founded in Stockholm in 1982 with the aim of defending human rights, in particular people’s civil and political rights. We also support and empower human rights defenders at risk on four continents.

30 years of human rights work

VikampartillsammansCivil Rights Defenders (previously known as the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) was originally part of the Helsinki Movement. During the Cold War, an agreement was signed by Eastern Bloc and Western countries in the Finnish capital in 1975. This inspired citizens across Europe and the United States to form non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to monitor their own governments with regard to respecting and safe-guarding human rights. The Helsinki family grew to include more than 40 organisations.

Learn more about our past by reading the following publication: We fight together!

In 2009 the Swedish Helsinki Committee became Civil Rights Defenders
Watch the movie below about how Civil Rights Defenders came to be:

90-accounts guarantee correct handling of donations

Civil Rights Defenders is a non-profit organisation. Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, is our main donor with regard to our international activities. Many other companies, foundations and individuals also contribute to our work. We have Swedish 90-accounts and are a member of the Swedish Fundraising Council and FRII. Our accounting is supervised by Svensk Insamlingskontroll. These measures guarantee that your donation is handled correctly and used for its intended purpose. If you would like more information regarding our financials, please read our annual reports.

logo Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SidaLogo Swedish Fundraising Council, FRIILogo Svensk insamlingskontroll