Erasmus+ Project

Civil Rights Defenders defend people’s civil and political rights. We work in close partnership with civil society organisations, human rights defenders, and changemakers in our common effort to strive for a world of democratic societies in which we all enjoy our civil and political rights. We work through several modalities, where adult trainings for long-life learning is among the most important. We strengthen individuals working on human rights within thematic focuses such as human rights principles, gender equality, citizenship, security issues and legal rights. We also focus on external perspectives, ranging from public advocacy, litigation and overarching anti-discrimination issues.

Our work with activists aims at making sure their human rights are respected, but also to make them included in democratic governance processes. We work towards a society where decisions are made in dialogue with active citizens, enabling marginalised communities to participate in decision-making. 

The political demands in society are changing rapidly, and the pressure from non-democratic leaders on our partners within the human rights movement is constantly growing. As democracy is backsliding in more countries than where it is strengthened, human rights defenders, minority groups and others are often pained out as a threat to the nation, and already marginalised groups face even more negative pressure that leads to, amongst others, stress and psychosocial challenges. 

Civil Rights Defenders has developed a new eight-year strategy and modified the organisation’s theory of change. Developing our adult educators is instrumental in realising goals and objectives and four strategic goals: security, capacity, engagement and accountability. 

Current Erasmus+ Project

Civil Rights Defenders started our Erasmus+ journey in 2022. By actively working through Erasmus+ with a common pedagogical approach and strategic leadership while developing our skills in planning, facilitating and evaluating our work, we hope to continue to strengthen our organisation and become a more resilient organisation that can swiftly adjust to current and future challenges in its non-formal and informal adult educational work. 

The achievement so far has had a big impact on the work to have a clear approach to an inclusive and reflective leadership and increase our capacity to become a better actor in adult education, especially around topics that are close to the work of Civil Rights Defenders, such as educating on civil rights, active citizenship, anti-polarisation and populism, general understanding of human rights, etc.  

Civil Rights Defenders continues to strive to have a common language and pedagogical foundation for learning in the organisation and to increase training and facilitation skills to better meet the needs of minority and marginalised groups. Civil Rights Defenders also aim to develop and implement an inclusive and reflective leadership to ensure being a relevant player in an international context. 

Previous Erasmus+ Project

The participation in Erasmus+ has so far been an important initiative to develop a common language around management and leadership and, as a result develop more informed, less stressed and more resilient staff. 

Over the last 18 months, Civil Rights Defenders managers took part in various courses across Europe, strengthening their competencies in management and leadership, such as creating clarity in complex contexts, inspiring and managing change processes with the involvement of staff while keeping the focus on the direction of the organisation; as well as some Civil Rights Defenders staff attended courses focusing on coaching and guidance to empower people to take action in their own lives, set their own goals and find the strengths to carry them out. 

The courses were followed by activities to embed the learning into our organisation and share it in our networks. 


For more information about the projects, please contact HR Partner Mirjam Warne