Established in 1987, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) represented Dutch civil society in the Helsinki Process, following the development and agenda of the Organzation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Since then, the NHC has been recognised as one of the key non-governmental organisations contributing to dialogue and cooperation among different types of actors around issues. The mission of the NHC is to build and secure justice and compliance with international human rights agreements. The NHC currently consist of four programmes: Access to Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Human Rights Defence, and Integrity and Accountability.
Throughout its history, the NHC has yielded concrete results as it has strengthened the capacity of civil society organisations and civil servants, lobbied and advocated on human rights and the rule of law and actively participated in networks focused on these topics.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the organisation responded to the sharp increase in demand for capacity building, focusing on providing assistance in rule of law and human rights topics. Today, the NHC develops and implements both short- and long-term projects aimed at strengthening legal protection and improving public policies. The main projects the NHC is involved in concern improving the situation of persons in conflict with the law (in the Western Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine), improving access to justice for vulnerable groups (in the Western Balkans), facilitating rule of law trainings, and supporting human rights defenders and organisations to withstand governmental pressure (in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan).