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AHRI

The Association of Human Rights Institutes - AHRI, consists of 29 member institutions that carry out research and education in the field of human rights. The object of AHRI is to promote research, education and discussion in the field of human rights.

AHRI Co-operation Agreement

The AHRI Co-operation Agreement (pdf) was signed in Reykjavik 22 September 2000. Bjarney Friðriksdóttir, former Director of the Icelandic Human Rights Center, was elected as AHRIs first president. The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights accepted to host the Secretariat with Peter Malcontent as Secretary.

Secretariat (2009-2011)

The secretariat is elected for two-year periods, and the present Chair will end its term in 2012.

  • Chair, Director Nils Butenschøn, NCHR
  • Executive Secretary Ms Guro Frostestad, Principal Executive Officer, NCHR
     

Executive Committee (2009-2012)

The Executive Committee is elected for three-year periods. The present members will end their term in 2013.

  • Manfred Novak (University of Vienna)
  • Margot Salomon (London School of Economics)
  • Vesna Petrovic (Belgrade Centre for Human Rights)
  • William Schabas (Irish Centre for Human Rights)

Funding

AHRI's main source of funding is through COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). COST is one of the longest-running European instruments supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe.
Today several AHRI member institutions participate in the COST project The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform. See the Activities section for more details about this project.

Strengthening human rights as an academic field

The initiation of AHRI was motivated by the growing number of human rights institutions with a research agenda and the opportunity this created for developing and strengthening human rights as an academic field of study. The main purposes of the association was to coordinate research projects and applications for research funding, and organise seminars and conferences.

Several AHRI member institutions participated in the academic program Human Rights, Peace and Security in EU Foreign Policy. The project's main objective was to increase and deepen knowledge on the functioning of national and international instruments devised to pursue human rights, peace and security objectives in order to recommend modifications of the foreign policy of the European Union.

Founding history

AHRI was founded in 2000 at a founding meeting at Iceland hosted by the Icelandic Human Rights Centre.
All active European academic human rights institutes were invited to join and the following founding members met at Iceland:

  • Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR)
  • Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University
  • Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • Icelandic Human Rights Center
  • Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)
  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights

Human Rights Centre University of Essex was the next to join.

The initiative to create an Association of Human Rights Institutes was taken by former Director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Nils Butenschøn, at a Nordic directors meeting in Copenhagen in 1999. He made the first drafts of the statutes.

“The role of the EU in UN human rights reform”

On March 12th 2013 at 11am Manfred Nowak will present the final recommendations of the COST Action IS0702 regarding “The role of the EU in UN human rights reform” together with Wolfgang Benedek (Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Graz (ETC)), Wouter Vandenhole (Chair in Human Rights - UNICEF Chair in Children‘s Rights, University of Antwerp), Jan Wouters (Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of International Law, Director of Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven), in Brussels in the EEAS Capital building to COHOM (human rights working group) und EEAS (European External Action Service) of the EU.

Location: 
Brussels

Empower Human Rights!

Final Conference of the COST Action IS0702 “The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform”, 13th AHRI (Association of Human Rights Institutes) Conference
10-12 September 2012, Vienna

For many years the United Nations has been discussing the need of strengthening the protection and implementation of human rights by inter alia mainstreaming human rights in all policy areas, developing partnerships with business corporations, treaty body and Human Rights Council reform. Traditionally, the European Union has been one of the most outspoken advocates of a stronger role of human rights in the United Nations architecture. With the Arab Spring and other more recent reform movements the UN seems to be ready for stronger action to protect human rights.

 

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