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The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is glad to announce the continuation of our Small Grants Program in support of human rights, democratization and the strengthening of civil society in Central Asia.
Human Rights Education:
Journalists in North West Russia and Norwegian journalists across the border experience some of the same challenges in their daily work. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the journalist association Barents Press are pleased that we are able to continue our cooperation and organise sessions where Norwegian and Russian journalists meet to exchange experiences and discuss human rights in journalism.
Human rights education:
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee organised 13-17 November 2016 a Human Rights School for 27 high school students from Murmansk and Kirkenes.
NHCs Enver Djuliman is currently in Odessa, Ukraine, where Russian and Ukrainian youth are together for dialogues for reconciliation between Russian and Ukrainian youth. Symbolically, the participants planted trees of peace.
Within the framework of the NHC-funded three-year program “Raising Effectiveness of Protection of Citizens’ Rights in Relations with the Police”, the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor has issued a report and video illustrating the relations between police and citizens of Armenia in 2015.
Political prisoners in Azerbaijan:
On Tuesday 8 December, 2015 more than 30 works of art produced by Norwegian artists thematically related to political prisoners in Azerbaijan were displayed at the main town hall (Hôtel de Ville) in Paris, France.
In connection with the examination of Kyrgyzstan in the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, 1 and 2 June, NHC local partner Open Viewpoint made an alternative report urging Kyrgyzstan to ensure citizens' access to objective information on religion.
I forbindelse med Den norske Helsingforskomites Barentsprosjekt besøkte 10 russiske journalister i desember Oslo for å delta på et dialogseminar.
The “Coalition for Trust”, a three-year regional project funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, started in late 2012 and works in all entities of the South Caucasus to restore confidence and build people-to-people contact by opening up new perspectives on conflict transformation. The initiative is implemented on the ground by local partner and associate organisations in the regions. NHC is working with the partners to develop and deliver a broad-ranging educational programme for close to 300 students, journalists and civic activists.
Annual roundtable event on the right to freedom of religion or belief was organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Istanbul. This year’s roundtable discussion focused on the general trends and issues related to religious freedom in Turkey, based on the Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief – July 2013-June 2014. The second part of the discussion centred on the intersection between the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to education.
A long time partner of the NHC, the human rights organisation Spravedlivost' in Jalalabad, South Kyrgyzstan, has made a video encouraging peace between the inhabitants of the region tormented by ethnic violence four years ago.
Det må regjeringen svare for i FN i mai 2014. I likhet med alle andre stater i verden vil Norge bli gjenstand for en Universell Periodisk Undersøkelse (UPR) i FNs Menneskerettighetsråd. Det er fire år siden Norges den første gangen. Selve undersøkelsen tar en halv dag hvor alle verdens stater kan stille spørsmål eller kritisere Norge. – Forberedelsene er allerede godt i gang, og etter mai 2014 vil arbeidet med å følge opp anbefalingene om bedret praksis starte. Frivillige organisasjoner har en viktig rolle å spille hele veien, sier Ole B Lilleås i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
A regional conference for universities adopted the Sarajevo Declaration on the Role of Higher Education and Civil Society in Education for Peace on 20 March 2014. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee organized the regional conference “The role of universities in peacebuilding” in Sarajevo on 20 March together with our local partners as part of our project Build Bridges, not Walls.
Human rights education:
As part of the NHC project on the role of Universities in peacebuilding, a conference was held 19-20 April in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the conference was to initiate a dialogue on how universities can contribute to build and promote peace in the region. The University of Tuzla is one of five partner universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, that participates in the project Build Bridges not Walls: the Role of the Universities in Peacebuilding.
As a result of long-term work on freedom of religion or belief in Central Asia the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights were invited to conduct a workshop with Kyrgyz parliamentarians discussing how to ensure that national legislation is line with international human rights. The workshop took place in Bishkek on 10-11 February 2014.
The Freedom of Religion or Belief in Central Asia Project is part of NHC’s larger Human Rights in Central Asia program, and focuses in particular on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
On 7 May, the Kyrgyzstani NGO Bir Duino ("One World") presented the results of their analysis of the problems of early marriages and early pregnancy in Kyrgyzstan at a press conference in Bishkek. Photo: Kloop.kg
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
As a part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committees efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are implementing the project “Peace Education on Location”, in cooperation with the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska. The project is supported by USAID.
The three-year (2010-13) project ”Promoting a social climate propitious to Transitional Justice and a culture of non-impunity” is carried out in Serbia by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia in co-operation with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee with the support of the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Religion in Turkey:
The Freedom of Belief Project was launched in March 2013. The project builds on and incorporates an already existing initiative in Turkey, The Freedom of Belief Initiative (İÖG), led by Mine Yildirim, a Turkish expert in the field soon to defend her doctoral thesis at the Åbo Academy, Finland. The three years project, 2013-2015, is aimed at laying the foundation for a permanent Turkish human rights organization specializing on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).
Russian Civic Assistance Committee will soon present a book,- a collection of memories of eyewitnesses of and participants in the Chechen wars. The title of the book, published in Russian, is ‘Stories of one war’ / Каждый молчит о своем: истории одной войны,
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee presents a series of short documentaries about present and former political prisoners in Belarus, made by local filmmakers. The intention of the documentaries is to present the persons behind the names of the prisoners to a local as well as an international audience. We believe this is important to understand why we must continue to struggle for their release.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is pleased to announce that the following projects have been selected to receive support from its annual Small Grants Fund.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee congratulates our partner in Russia, the Committee against Torture, who in April 2011 was awarded the Human Rights Prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE). The NHC also nominated our partner to this prestigious award.
The project is aimed at preparing of the GOLOS network in Northwest Russia for advanced long-term and short-term observation of the upcoming federal elections by involving a wide range of stakeholders into this process. The results of shall be analyzed using mathematical methods and presented to the public.
Universities and peacebuilding:
The role of universities in peacebuilding has been dicussed in the Western Balkans as part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee program “Building bridges not walls – The role of universities in peacebuilding”.
The human rights organization Spravedlivost' has produced a video encouraging peace between ethnic groups in the South of Kyrgyzstan.
A conference on the role of universities in peacebuilding took place at the university of Novi Pazar, Serbia on December 14-15. The conference is part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's reconciliation program for the Western Balkans.
Institute for peace and Democracy, ledet av den kjente menneskerettighetsaktivisten Leyla Yunus, gjennomfører prosjektet. De overvåker utvalgte, prinsipielt viktige rettssaker ved domstoler i Baku og Sumgait. Jurister skriver en rettslig vurdering av hver rettssak og publiserer dette som analyser i lokale aviser og på egen nettside. I løpet av et år overvåkes i gjennomsnitt åtte saker på denne måten, både straffesaker, som ærekrenkelsesaker mot journalister, og sivile saker. Av sivile saker er det særlig fokus på ekspropriasjon av fast eiendom, som misbrukes i stor grad av myndighetene i Aserbaijdsjan.
Build Bridges not Walls - the role of Universities in peacebuilding is a regional education project organised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with Buskerud University College in Norway,
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, HCHR, in Republika Srpska recently launched an initiative whose aim is to introduce the subject of transitional justice at state universities in Bosnia-Hercegovina, BiH. The project is supported by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Armenia is a small Caucasus country that tends to be forgotten between the blatant human rights offender Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the East, and the unsecure and unstable Georgia to the North. However, human rights are violated also in Armenia, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has supported the work of civil society in Armenia for many years in order to address central issues. One of the most central actors in the human rights environment in Yerevan is the Armenian Helsinki Association and Mikael Danielyan.
During a conference on Strengthening Human Rights in Russia organized by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with Amnesty International Norway in Oslo on September 19-22 this year, a resolution on establishing the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center was adopted by a group of nine leading Russian and international human rights organizations.