Netherlands Helsinki Committee


The Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC), a non-government organization founded in 1987, aims to promote the rule of law and full compliance with human rights norms at the international level and at the state level within each of the OSCE participating states. The NHC seeks to reinforce and support the activities of both government and non-government organizations, and works towards developing a stronger focus on human rights protection within inter-governmental organizations. The OSCE has developed an impressive array of commitments and activities on conflict prevention and the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democratic values, in an area covering all of North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. The NHC organizes various capacity building and reform projects in partnership with government agencies or civil society partners in OSCE countries, on issues such as prison and probation management, human trafficking, social-discrimination of women and children, and human rights monitoring and campaigning. The NHC aims in particular to develop projects in OSCE countries to strengthen legal protection and improve public policies aimed at vulnerable or disadvantaged groups such as women, immigrants, economically marginalized people, prisoners, ethnic minorities, and human rights activists. In addition, the NHC actively engages in coalition-building to push for more forceful implementation of the human dimension commitments of the OSCE. Besides its traditional focus on the OSCE, the NHC works towards improving the implementation of judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, which covers almost all countries in the OSCE region. It also works to promote a higher standard of human rights protection by the European Union in both its internal and external policies.