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Netherlands Helsinki Committee

Netherlands Helsinki Committee
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee was founded in 1987 as part of the wave of new human rights watchdogs across wider Europe, established following the signing of the Helsinki Accords. Long-time dissidents and newly inspired activists behind the Iron Curtain called on their governments with appeals for political reform and improved protection of human rights. They were using the human rights commitments of the parties to the Accords to hold their governments to account.
  • Het Nutshuis Riviervismarkt 5, 2513 AM The Hague, The Netherlands


Especially today, Netherlands Helsinki Committee is still deeply encouraged by these brave human rights defenders and we continue to work on our mission to inspire, engage and support catalysts of change in building just and rights-respecting societies in wider Europe, covering Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and the European Union. The organisation envisions a world in which every person lives in a just society where human rights and the rule of law are respected, and where people join forces to actively contribute to change in that direction.

For this to happen, we need resilient civil society organisations that raise their voice in defence of human rights, we need our governments to be held accountable and act with integrity, and we need independent, inclusive and humane justice systems that protect people, especially when they are marginalised or historically underrepresented in decision-making. These areas form the cornerstones of the organisation’s work.

Netherlands Helsinki Committee believes that positive change is possible, and that it can happen especially when we are building bridges among the different actors that have a role to play in bringing about the change we urgently need in the world today. Catalysts of change can be everywhere: in the East and in the West of Europe, in civil society, in government administrations, in the judiciary and in communities.

Through our unique and historic networks and contacts, the organisation is able to support change makers in these sectors by strengthening their capacities and by amplifying their voices. By building bridges between catalysts of change from different sectors and countries, Netherlands Helsinki Committee stands strong together for human rights, rule of law and justice in wider Europe.