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, ¬†while also supporting and empowering human rights defenders at risk.

30 years of human rights work

VikampartillsammansCivil Rights Defenders (previously known as the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) was originally a part of the Helsinki Movement. During the Cold War an agreement had been signed by Eastern and the Western Bloc countries in the Finnish capital in 1975. This inspired citizens all around Europe and in the USA to form non-governmental organisations that would monitor their own governments with regards to respecting human rights. The Helsinki family grew to include more than 40 organisations.

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

2009 Swedish Helsinki Committee became Civil Rights Defenders
Watch this movie about our name change:

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 in regard to international activities. Many companies, foundations and individuals contribute to our work. We have Swedish 90-accounts and are a member of Swedish Fundraising Council, 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 want to know more about our financials read our annual reports

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