We Defend People's Civil and Political Rights

Civil Rights Defenders works for and together with human rights defenders fighting for democracy and civil and political rights across the world. Our task is to make sure that they can work smarter, faster, and safer. Through advocacy, litigation, and public campaigns, we defend human rights. We also act as Sweden’s civil rights watchdog. With your support, we can accomplish more.

We partner with and support human rights defenders in more than 300 organisations in 50 countries on four continents.

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Security and innovation

Human rights defenders around the world are regularly subjected to threats, harassment, forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions by authoritarian regimes. Through trainings, emergency assistance, and providing innovative security solutions, Civil Rights Defenders supports human rights defenders to continue their important work. Together with our partner organisations, we offer training in digital, physical, as well as psychosocial security.

Capacity for strong human rights actors

A strong civil society is key to a sustainable democracy. We partner with human rights organisations in some of the world’s most repressive countries and provide support in professional development as well as long-term financial support to increase their capacity to drive change.

Engagement leads to change

We work to engage the public, civil society, corporations, and decision makers, to stand up and take action for democratic principles and human rights. Through public campaigns and advocacy, we create pathways for engagement and support to human rights defenders worldwide.

Accountability for those in power

We work to ensure respect for people’s fundamental rights and freedoms. On our own, and together with human rights defenders in our network, we evaluate laws and proposed legislation, as well as their implementation by the authorities. We engage in legal processes and hold those in power to account when human rights are violated.

Smart Solutions to Global Problems

Being a human rights defender is dangerous and many who are on the front lines are subjected to systematic threats. Harassment, surveillance, death threats, and persecution are just a few examples. In addition to direct partnership and long-term support for thousands of human rights defenders, we have global support programmes. The global programmes provide security, innovation, community, and emergency support for our partners.

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Core International Crimes

Grave violations of human rights, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, are committed over the world. The perpetrators rarely face prosecution. Through legal means, we work to keep dictators awake at night and hold them accountable to achieve justice for their victims.

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Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award

The Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award is an award for outstanding work in defense of civil and political rights. It is awarded every year by Civil Rights Defenders.

With the award, we recognise a prominent human rights defender who, despite the risk to their own safety, continues the struggle for civil and political rights. 

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