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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

2010 Publications

2010 Publications from KHRP

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KHRP submitted this shadow report for consideration by the Human Rights
Committee, in connection with the Committee’s examination of
Iran’s Third Periodic Report on the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights in March 2011.  The submission summarises KHRP’s main concerns about Iran’s failure to implement fully its obligations under the Convention.

KHRP's brieing to the UN Committee Against Torture in preparation for it's review of Turkey’s 3rd periodic report on its implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which took place as part of the 45th session of the Committee  in Geneva, Switzerland rom the 1-19th November 2010.

This report explains in detail the concerns regarding the continuous violations of the Convention in Turkey and highlights Turkey’s failure to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) which would allow the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment the right to visit all places of detention in Turkey and examine the treatment of people held there.

KHRP report submitted on 21 June 2010 to the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, who works under the remit of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report details KHRP’s concerns relating to ongoing discriminatory practices in contemporary Turkey, Iran and Syria.

CEDAW NGO Shadow Report - Turkey CEDAW NGO Shadow Report - TurkeyTooltip 05/20/2010 Hits: 21691
NGO shadow report for the review of the Turkish government under the UN International Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Submitted in May 2010 by KHRP.
KHRP’s submission to the UN CAT on Syria

Submission and List of Issues to be taken up in Connection with the Consideration of Turkey’s Initial Report Concerning the Rights Covered by Articles 1-15 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights for the Pre-Sessional Working Group to the 44th Session of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

Submitted by Kurdish Human Rights Project, May 2010

KHRP submission made in March 2010 to the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The document covers hate crimes committed in Turkey during 2009, and is intended for inclusion in the reivew: Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region: Incidents and Responses, Annual Report for 2009. 

This manual offers a comprehensive guide to taking human rights complaints to the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. KHRP has presented its submissions to the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw for the past ten years on issues as diverse as tolerance and non-discrimination to national minorities; freedom of religion; refugees and displaced persons; and freedom of expression. To the present day, KHRP remains a forerunner in its use of strategic litigation via the full range of international human rights mechanisms in order to bring perpetrators of human rights abuse to justice. This manual reflects the expertise and experience amassed by the organisation during this time. 

‘Taking Human Rights Complaints to the OSCE, European Parliament and Council of Europe’ constitutes the third in a series of KHRP manuals concerned with the use of international mechanisms as a launch pad for human rights complaints. By providing information on a previously unchartered subject, this manual represents a very useful and exciting extension of KHRP’s assistance to human rights victims and their defenders, interested individuals, legal and academic persons alike. 

This report seeks to provide a comprehensive account of the hardship faced by Kurdish children in Turkey. Combining desk and field-based research, this report incorporates the findings of its 2008 mission to Diyarbakır, Cizre and Istanbul with those resulting from the follow-up mission that took place last October.


Investigations revealed that Kurdish children face considerable barriers and disadvantages relative to their Turkish counterparts. This was most keenly identified with regard to the treatment of Kurdish children in the juvenile justice system, with those living in the Kurdish regions receiving far less protection. This has become particularly acute given the application of new anti-terror legislation that has been used to criminalise children. The report concludes with some recommendations for the EU and concerned national governments and organisations aimed at ensuring Turkey complies with its international obligations concerning children’s rights.

This report contains details of key proceedings from the Fifth International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds, organised by the EU-Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC). The conference, which was held at the European Parliament in Brussels from 28 to 29 January 2009, was hosted by EUTCC founders the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, Medico International, The Thorolf Rafto Foundation, and the Kurdish Human Rights Project, and was supported by members of the European Parliament. This year’s conference was dedicated to the memory of writer, activist and member of the KHRP Board of Patrons, Harold Pinter, who passed away on 24 December 2008.

Proceedings were opened with a speech by KHRP Chief Executive, Kerim Yildiz, a copy of which is available both in the full report and as a separate downloadable transcript from the KHRP website. Throughout the duration of the event, particular emphasis was placed on the need to resolve the ongoing conflict with the PKK in both Northern Iraq and south-east Turkey. The EU was urged to reject the security-centric approach adopted by Turkey in favour of a resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy. The 2009 Conference built upon previous events, and on the wider work of the EUTCC, by providing a forum for dialogue regarding key issues and developments surrounding Turkish accession and the Kurdish question, as well as adopting new resolutions to maintain confidence, commitment and cooperation from all parties in the processes of accession.

Established in November 2004, the EUTCC monitors and conducts regular audits of Turkey’s compliance with the accession criteria, as defined in the accession agreements. It also makes recommendations, acts as a point of contact, and exchanges information, with the institutions of the EU and other governmental and non-governmental organisations.

This report presents the findings and further recommendations of a KHRP delegation that travelled to Van, south-east Turkey in August 2009. The delegation was dispatched to observe the trial of Kerem Çakan, accused of the murder of his then-pregnant 17-year-old wife, Eylem Pesen. Pesen had previously been forced out of education to marry Çakan, her maternal uncle’s son, who was accused of repeatedly stabbing and running over Pesem on 17 May 2009. The apparent motive for the killing was the defendant’s suspicion that she was involved in a sexual relationship with his elder brother, although subsequent admissions by Çakan revealed that Pesen had reported twice being raped by this same brother. Whilst Çakan is accused of the killing, the court has failed to consider the murder as an ‘honour-killing’ (which has an impact on sentencing) and both the police and judiciary neglected further avenues of investigation that may have indicted the case as such. The trial represented the first opportunity afforded to a KHRP delegation to witness a case involving violence against women, and besides monitoring the proceedings, mission members also interviewed the prosecutor, the defendant’s lawyer, relatives of the victim and local NGOs and human rights-based organisations.


The findings of the delegation reflect a wider systemic failure on the part of the Turkish state to uphold commitments to regional and international human rights law concerned with gender-based discrimination and violence in particular. Furthermore it is suggested that the state has failed to ensure women’s access to its protective and judicial powers in opposing pervasive gender-based violence and honour killings, particularly in the Van region. The lack of confidence in the Turkish judicial system reported by many women in indicative of such failures. The report also investigates wider root-causes of gender-related discrimination and violence in the countries’ south-east. Specifically the report stresses the need to address shortcomings in state health, education and social service provision, and asserts the importance of improving the social, political and economic environment in the region. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for the Turkish Judiciary and government, as well as for the European Union and relevant NGOs, human rights organisations and civil society groups.